In his first television interview on the eve of the 17th anniversary, Bahaa Rafik Hariri seemed calm, relaxed and confident that his father, the martyred Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s path would be able to continue. He admitted that there are some family disputes, however, he refused to talk about it out of respect for privacy.
Bahaa Hariri, who was physically absent from Lebanon after the martyrdom of his father, has showed that Lebanon is still in his thoughts and conscience. He also announced that the port explosion was a catalyst for thinking seriously about taking a political action, explaining in details his future project and the upcoming plans for “Sawa Li Lubnan” movement and its program for the upcoming elections.
What is remarkable is that he neither denied nor confirmed whether he will personally run in the upcoming Parliamentary elections. But he considered that what is vital is completing Rafik Hariri’s path and his project to bring the country back to safety. He called on the entire Lebanese people to vote massively for a real change to take place and to put an end to the deals of the current political system.
It is noteworthy that Hariri, the son, as well as the father, used the Lebanese word “mosaic” to emphasize the distinctive Lebanese coexistence, declaring that his project is cross-sectarian through “Sawa Li Lubnan” movement, which will include people from different sects. He also stressed the importance of the moderate Shiite role in the movement, where its decisions will be on the basis of Shura.
Hariri’s television talk also focused on a key point, which is the belief in state institutions and the importance of reactivating it. He also called for the full implementation of the Taif Agreement through respect for equity. He stressed the need for Judiciary independence and uprooting corruption, and considered that stable security is essential.
Hariri revealed the most important provisions of the “Sawa Li Lubnan” program related to the banking system and forensic audits, and the necessity of presenting a reform plan that would be the basis for restoring support and aid to Lebanon by the Arab brothers, international community, International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. His program also prioritizes tourism, education, and health sectors.
Hariri in his movement’s program appeared as if he is drafting a ministerial statement, which was a high-ranking diplomatic response to a question about the possibility of naming him to head the government, so he considered that the premiership is not the basis, but rather is the country and the people.
In his interview, Bahaa Hariri also touched on the position of the Sunni community in the country, refusing to marginalize its role in any way. Although he described the situation in Lebanon as dangerous, he expressed his belief that the elections will take place on time, which is the basis for opening a new a stage of change through the ballot boxes. He openly spoke of his refusal to establish any dialogue or cooperation with the current political system, including Hezbollah.
He also reiterated that the financial and economic deterioration we have reached is attributed to Lebanon’s failure to pay its dues to creditors.
Bahaa Hariri, who has close Arab and international relations, emphasized the Arab identity of Lebanon, which is a member of the Arab League, and considered that the Gulf initiative recently conveyed by the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister to Lebanon came with the support of the international community as a whole.
Hariri did not forget to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Arab and Gulf countries for the support and aid they provided to Lebanon, including their support to the security and military forces, wishing to reactivate Saudi’s assistance to these forces as soon as possible.
Hariri in his frank interview, praised his political representative in Lebanon, Safi Kalou, confirming him full confidence in him. He also renewed his commitment to his pledge to return to Beirut as soon as security guarantees are provided for him.