The country’s currency has lost 90% of its value to the US dollar since 2019 as people lack access to their savings at local banks.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun expressed the importance of Qatar’s support for Lebanon in these difficult times in an exclusive interview with Doha State News Agency (QNA) the Saturday.
In his conversation with QNA, President Aoun said that Qatar and Lebanon seek to continuously develop their ties as part of the common desire to preserve them.
The interview came ahead of Sunday’s Lebanese legislative elections, the first since the 2019 revolution which called for political reform. The previous elections were held in 2018 and the country has since experienced a worsening economic situation.
The country’s currency has lost 90% of its value to the US dollar since 2019 as people lack access to their savings at local banks. The Lebanese people hoped that the elections would eliminate the politicians they blamed for the country’s economic crisis.
Qatar has already offered to provide assistance to Lebanon once it forms a government.
Speaking to the Qatari News Agency, Aoun said he hoped the next parliament would elect a new president who “would complete the roadmap he had set for himself to end the difficult situation in which the Lebanese”.
The turnout of Lebanese expatriates in Qatar on Friday, May 6, reached 66.38%, according to figures provided by the Lebanese Embassy in Doha. A total of 4,875 Lebanese voters out of the 7,344 registered voters voted at the polls in Doha.
Global turnout in this year’s election is estimated to be at least three times polling figures in 2018, according to Reuters.
The latest elections in Beirut are seen as the Lebanese people’s last hope after years of demanding change. According to Reutersthree quarters of the Lebanese population are plunged into poverty due to the economic situation.
The World Bank has described the situation in Lebanon as one of the worst financial crises of modern times. The situation was aggravated by the Covid-19 epidemic and the explosion in Beirut in 2020.
Despite billions in aid sent to Lebanon at the time, some non-governmental organizations said they received nothing. Qatar was the first country to offer direct support to the Lebanese in the aftermath of the explosion.
The Gulf state had pledged more than $70 million in donations.
Almost two years later, the Lebanese people are still demanding accountability and a proper investigation into the tragedy. The explosion was caused by years of explosive material hidden in the port of Beirut which politicians seem to be aware of.
“I’ve tried to dismiss them before but this time it’s personal and we’re angry. We want justice. We can no longer stay silent and watch them lie to us, disrespect us and strip away dignity and dignity. pride of the Lebanese people,” said Rita Dahdah, a Lebanese working in Qatar. Doha News.
Elections are one of the conditions presented by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of a April Draft Agreement with the Lebanese government. The elections would allow much-needed financial aid to enter the country.
Aoun told QNA that the agreement with the IMF is “the beginning of the march towards recovery and out of this crisis”.
“The objective of reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund is not only to obtain the amount of three billion dollars, or any other amount, as much as to establish a valid roadmap for a future economic vision. and financial worth,” said the Lebanese President.
Years of corruption have been a key problem that the Lebanese people have sought to resolve through elections. It’s a demand that echoed since the revolution, as people chanted ‘kellon ya’ani kellon’translating to “everything means everything” in Arabic.
Lebanon’s social fabric is fragmented into Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Druze, Maronites and other Christian sects.
In 1975, several segments became embroiled in a 15-year civil war that left a lingering impact on the country. Various Lebanese officials continue to be caught up in corruption and scandals.
Legislative elections take place every four years and election candidates come from opposing political parties and sects. A number of seats are assigned to each sect.
The Lebanese population had to leave their country to seek a better life and to hope that the elections would allow their return to a better Lebanon.
“It’s time to change and give new people a chance and I’m responsible to my children. We always pay for our families’ choices,” said Lina Bissani, whose children are currently university students in Beirut. Doha News.