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Lebanese politicians criticized during Eid sermon for ‘moral crisis and love of power’

BEIRUT: Lebanese ruling class politicians were criticized on Saturday for suffering “a moral crisis and a love of power” as the country celebrated Eid Al-Adha.

The officials had apologized for not having received sympathizers on this holy occasion “due to the circumstances that Lebanon is going through”.

Dar al-Fatwa’s secretary, Sheikh Amin Al-Kurdi, condemned them during the Eid sermon.

“Dignified and self-respecting people will not break before your corruption, your thefts and your complex and sick self. You have wasted their wealth and resources,” he told hundreds of worshipers at the Al-Amin Mosque in central Beirut. “There is no electricity, water, medicine or bread. Everything is horribly expensive, and life has become arduous and restrictive.

“The people will remain, but the dark pages of history will curse you generation after generation,” added Al-Kurdi, who led the Eid prayers in place of Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian.

The Grand Mufti is in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj.

Al-Kurdi said Lebanese officials were suffering from “a moral crisis and a love of power”.

In his sermon, he asked: “Where is the prosecution of the assassins of the martyr Prime Minister Rafic Hariri following the decision of the international tribunal? Where is the investigation into the explosion at the port of Beirut? Where are the financial rights of people lost in the banks? Where are the water, electricity, medicine, food and fuel? Where is the sense of security and tranquility? When the captain of the ship is troubled, all the passengers feel insecure.

Lebanon entered the holiday phase on Saturday ending next Tuesday. Political activities aimed at forming a new government were halted and work on controversial issues was suspended.

Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati has not visited President Michel Aoun for the past two weeks to continue consultations on the draft Cabinet composition and Aoun has yet to respond to Mikati’s proposed cabinet draft.

Tensions have arisen between the two men over the government formation process.

Aoun congratulated the Lebanese on Eid Al-Adha on his official Twitter account, expressing his hope that “some people would sacrifice their interests and selfishness for the interest of the country”.

Mikati issued a statement wishing the Lebanese a good holiday, while mentioning that he had prepared a Cabinet composition and submitted it to Aoun.

“Together, we discussed its contents and he made some remarks, hoping that we will resume discussions on the bases of cooperation and respect that were present between us during the past period.”

The grand mufti sent a message from Mecca to the Lebanese, saying that the solutions to the problems “consist only of accelerating the process of forming the government and committing to the constitution to face the dangerous internal and external challenges including Lebanon. is a witness”.

“Those who establish obstacles, barriers and contradictory conditions that hinder the formation of government are responsible for the deterioration and collapse of the country,” he added. “Some Lebanese officials are in a coma, possibly suffering from deficiencies and failing to fulfill their national responsibilities to protect the state and its institutions.”

Activity was reduced on the first day of Eid, particularly in butcher shops due to soaring livestock prices.

The price of a sacrificial offering can be as high as 6 million LBP ($204 according to the black market rate). A butcher said the sum was equivalent to “two months’ salary for a first-class clerk”.

The bread crisis has yet to be resolved, with bakeries witnessing long queues for a package that is now subject to rationing, such as electricity, water and medicine.

During a press conference on Friday, the interim economy minister, Amin Salam, spoke of “mafias affecting food security”.

He said, “We imported 45,000 tons of wheat, knowing that what we need for pita bread is 36,000 tons, which means there was a surplus of 10,000 tons. But these mafias stole this amount, and I have reports from security authorities that include the names of smugglers, traders, bakeries and factories. However, it seems that those arrested signed an undertaking not to repeat their acts and that they were acquitted. What is this logic? Bread smuggling to Syria has reached around 40%. Smuggling costs Lebanese wheat subsidies billions of dollars.

He spoke at the press conference about “professionalism in smuggling and the advanced means adopted”.

The minister said Lebanon would seek assistance from the World Bank to guarantee an additional safety net.

“We asked for a loan from the World Bank, not to maintain the subsidies, but to secure the arrival of wheat in the country and to rationalize the subsidies so that segments of society are not affected by the increase in prices. because, as a government, we cannot continue to obtain subsidies.

Salam said the World Bank program would streamline grants for six to nine months.

James G. Williams