Report: Electricity Tender Might Initiate Govt Dispute
An unfinalized tender for leasing power generating ships may trigger dispute between ministers during an upcoming cabinet meeting on Thursday, meanwhile “advocates of said deal intend to force acceptance in favor of a Turkish company at any cost” al-Joumhouria daily reported on Tuesday.
“In the past hours, high-level figures of a political party have started heavily pressuring the Tenders Department in order to facilitate passing a (previous) tender in accordance with the book of conditions prepared by Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil,” said the daily.
According to “reliable” information, the renewed pressures came after the Tenders Department criticized in a report the book of conditions of “leasing electricity barges-2”. The report included “negative remarks” pointing out that the tender deal has “major gaps and lacks competition,” said the daily.
Political atmospheres seem tense and this might be reflected during the upcoming cabinet meeting, said the daily.
A political source who spoke on condition of anonymity told al-Joumhouria: “The country is on the brink of impasse. Some are trying to smuggle a deal under the cover of darkness. We will not allow this. We will have a say at the cabinet meeting.”
“The Tenders Department has responsibly carried out its duty. Its role is not over yet. Its duty is to reply to the Minister's comments (Abi Khalil's) who insists on his conditions. It will then leave the final decision to the cabinet” the source added.
Some political parties, have criticized the electricity bid dubbing it as “illegal” and a means to achieve “personal gains.”
Minister Abi Khalil, of the Free Patriotic Movement, was accused of “tailoring” the book of terms to secure the win of a specific firm – the Turkish Karadeniz firm which is the operator of the Fatmagul Sultan and Orhan Bey vessels that Lebanon has been leasing since 2012.