Machnouk: Aoun’s openness will revive Lebanon’s status among Arab, international countries

Interior and Municipalities Minister, Nohad Machnouk, said in a radio interview on Saturday that the openness of President Michel Aoun will reestablish strong ties with Arab and international countries after years of being on shaky grounds. He noted that Aoun’s goal is to work for the benefit of Lebanon rather than hold showdowns.

The Minister was certain that the President’s visit to Riyadh and Doha, as well as subsequent visits to other countries, would have a positive outcome for Lebanon. He even alluded to the possibility of reactivating the Saudi grant to the Lebanese Armed Forces.

He confirmed that the rule of the troika has gone forever along with the Syrian custodianship; he added that most of the people in government were outside the Syrian-Iranian alignment despite the fact this duo has reinforced its symbolic presence in the Cabinet.

Turning to the anticipated legislative elections, Machnouk confirmed that his Ministry was ready for the elections. He noted that if current law were adopted, the elections would take place on time. However, in case a new law was decreed, then the elections would be delayed for a few months for technical reasons. He explained that the only reason why current law would be used in upcoming legislative elections was to avoid extending the mandate of existing parliament again and to form a parliament that would decree a new electoral law to be adopted in the following elections.

“Most political forces agreed on having a new electoral law, of which proportionality would be a part, and to have a female quota.”