SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 30 November 2021, Tuesday |

President Aoun briefed by interior minister on preparations for parliamentary elections

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, received this afternoon the Minister of Interior and Municipalities Bassam Mawlawi, and was briefed by him on the preparations of the Ministry to hold the parliamentary elections on time, and on the causes and results of the several fires in a number of Lebanese regions, in addition to a number of security files  .

After the meeting, Minister Mawlawi addressed the press with the following statement: “I had the honor today to meet with His Excellency the President of the Republic, to inform him of the developments of the past week. I reassured him on the measures taken by the Ministry of Interior regarding the preparation for the elections that will take place on its legal date, according to a set deadline that is issued by a decree signed by the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior, an agreement is reached.  It is within the legal time limit.

“The preparations for the election process, whether at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or at the level of registration in diplomatic missions abroad, are taking place on time, and we are committed to the deadlines.  Registration is extensive in diplomatic missions abroad, and we are following up the registration at the Ministry of Interior. 80% of those registered abroad have registered through the Ministry of the Interior.  We have an additional 10 days after closing the deadline for registering voters abroad, during which the Ministry of Interior will be ready to include those registered in the electoral lists.”

Minister Mawlawi added: “The second important issue that I discussed with President Aoun is related to the fires that were spread over all Lebanese territories , the most dangerous were in the south.

The  Ministry of Interior pursued it actively, and I was present in the operations rooms of the Civil Defense with the governors, and the Director General of Civil Defense, whom I thank for his efforts, and I issued a statement praising the efforts of the Director General of Civil Defense and all the elements and volunteers of Civil Defense who made great efforts with their  capabilities, along with the help of army helicopters, to put out fires and cool the burning areas. I informed the President, on several projects to compensate for these losses, and to plant replacement trees.

On the other hand, we will follow up the investigations seriously to detect the perpetrators because these fires are mostly premeditated . In this regard we have information, recordings and photos, which competent security services are following up, as I follow it myself. And soon we will have the results of the investigations. The government will submit to Parliament a bill to increase penalties for the perpetrators because this issue  is very dangerous, and His Excellency the President supported this approach.

He added: “ On this occasion, I would like to thank again the volunteers and members of the Civil Defense.  I informed the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister that we will do what is necessary to implement the law so that the volunteers obtain their rights by being installed in a confined match, because some of them have so far spent about ten years in the civil defense.  We will conduct the confined match, and I have taken this matter upon myself seriously.

I also briefed His Excellency the President on all issues related to security, which I personally follow on a daily basis, and we take all necessary measures in this regard.  I assure the Lebanese that the security forces are watching over their security and are carrying out their duties.”

Question: On the subject of elections, how will the issue of polling chiefs be dealt with if teachers continue to be on strike?

Answer: When we come to this issue, the Ministry of Interior has a plan for the employees to attend on polling day, and their number exceeds 15,000, and they will obtain their rights.