Lebanon's government stepped down on Monday night, less than a week after a massive explosion in Beirut killed more than 160 people and sparked days of mass protests.
In a press statement about the developments the General Secretary of the Lebanese Communist Party (LCP) Hanna Gharib points out the following:
First, LCP condemns the burning of the Martyrs’ monument that happened in the southern Village of Zraryeh. This incident which occurred at late night of Sunday August 9 reveals bad intentions against the Lebanese National Resistance Front, and against the party who was the backbone of this Front.
Those who committed such an un-ethical act are attacking the resistance itself and can be considered as opponents of national and social liberation. In this context, we call the security forces to undertake a full responsibility and carry out transparent investigations in order to hold accountable every person who might be behind such an act. This should be done in full coordination with all local entities active in that village.
The Lebanese Communist Party salute the hundreds of thousands of protestors including our comrades who took part in August 8 protest. Those numerous protestors were calling to overthrow the murderous political establishment, since it is the direct cause of all the crisis, wars, and catastrophes that Lebanon witnessed. In addition, this system paves the way for international intervention in the country’s political affairs. Under these slogans, LCP had always been keen in its demands and its firm commitment to our people’s aspirations. Our party will always be alongside with our people in their struggle to achieve a better living, and to fight against the many negative consequences generated by the political system- the latest of which was number of challenges and difficulties that resulted from Beirut Port explosion.
LCP views that statements issued on the sidelines of the urgent International Conference to support Lebanon held in Paris might hold shiny rhetoric, however actions prove the opposite. Let us not forget that almost all Lebanon’s political factions have always been supported by the foreign powers who participated in this conference. Besides this, the conditions laid down by the countries (the most important of which is government’s commitment to a reform agenda) as a prerequisite to the provision of assistance can have much greater implications if those countries were not part in the economic and financial sanctions. It is to note that these sanctions had negative effects on the majority of the Lebanese people. Therefore, channeling the international aid through non-formal channels under the pre-text of state corruption is a good argument. But, our concerns in this regard, that this aid can benefit foreign powers by leveraging their political presence in the country and thus advancing their agendas in Lebanon’s domestic affairs.
The Lebanese Communist Party re-affirms its stance now more than any other time. LCP will continue its struggle to build a national and democratic state; this always being a pivotal task to us. On a different note, LCP warns of any attempts to take advantage of people’s anger and resentment or to hold slogans that do not correspond to the slogans of October 17 uprising nor reflect the ethics and conduct of the protestors. These actions can only benefit projects aiming to intervening in Lebanon’s affairs- especially from the foreign powers that have interests in doing so-. This can be very risky especially at a time when attempts to divide the region along sectarian and confessional lines, is active and serious attempts.
Our party strongly condemns the aggressive treatment of the security forces toward protestors. In addition, LCP calls on to hold accountable the people who fired at the protestors, and to identify who ordered them to do so. In this regard, LCP wishes all those who get injured- as result of the brutal aggressive behavior of the security forces- a rapid recovery and calls on the security forces to respect the right of assembly and expression. We believe that those members should stand with our people because their sufferings are extremely similar to the people’s sufferings. LCP expresses its deep condolences to the family of an ISF office who passed away during Saturday’s protest. Those members should not protect the corrupt political system who through their actions seized public and private money and seized, and contributed in de-valuation of the Lebanese Lira thus depriving them- as many of the Lebanese people- from the adequate purchasing power to consume the goods and services they need. On a final note, LCP acknowledges effort done by all volunteers in the medical, health and civil defense fields who provided multiple forms of relief not only during the demonstrations, but also to re-build the areas affected by Beirut Port explosion.
The party affirms that the perpetrators of the port explosion should be held accountable, and that accountability should not only involve number of junior- level employees and managers, but rather all employees who can be directly or indirectly responsible no matter what the level of seniority is. The corruption, inadequate employment in the public sector, clientelistic way or running the state apparatus, lack of credibility, and negligence are all factors which caused- whether directly or indirectly- the Beirut Poet explosion.
The Lebanese Communist Party considers that the forces of the popular uprising are called today to mobilize their efforts and resources toward establishing a unified political framework. At the time being, all groups should unite their efforts to accelerate the process of establishing an alternative political forum- one that can help Lebanese people to address their needs and be up to their expectations. The main responsibility of these factions currently is to build a national and democratic state- an option that can be only done by overthrowing the current political system.