BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Joumblatt indicated Tuesday in a tweet from his official account that Energy and Water Minister Cesar Abi Khalil and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil should be dismissed because of their poor performance.
“In Iraq, after weeks of protest, the Energy Minister who wasted $40 billion was sacked. ... Is this not an opportunity to dismiss the current minister and his mentor to solve the ministerial knot and the electricity issue together?” Joumblatt tweeted. He added that the amount of wasted funds in Iraq and Lebanon was nearly equal.
Abi Khalil responded on Twitter, claiming that Joumblatt wanted the state to buy electricity from generation units affiliated with Cogico, a company in which Joumblatt owns a majority of shares. If the state did not, Abi Khalil said, Joumblatt would make it seem like the financial waste “you have caused since 1990” was the fault of the Free Patriotic Movement, the party to which Abi Khalil belongs.
Lebanon has not had 24/7 electricity since the Civil War (1975–1990).