Report: Investigation Reveals 40 ‘Non-Eligible’ Individuals for Lebanese Nationality
The names of 40 individuals included in a controversial naturalization decree have been proven “unqualified to be granted the Lebanese nationality,” MTV channel said on Wednesday.
The channel said that General Security chief, Maj. Gen.Abbas Ibrahim --tasked by the President with verifying the names included in the edict all have the right to become Lebanese-- “is expected to submit his report to President Michel Aoun in the next 48 hours.”
The channel said the”report included the names of 40 individuals that have been proven to have behavioral and judicial violations that prevent them from acquiring Lebanese nationality.”
On Thursday, the names of hundreds of people were revealed including an Iraqi vice-president to receive Lebanese nationality under a controversial presidential decree.
The interior ministry published the list after reports of the May 11 decree emerged a week earlier and the names of wealthy Syrians close to the Damascus regime were leaked to the media.
Critics slammed the secrecy of the decree in a country where thousands of people born to Lebanese mothers but foreign fathers remain unable to acquire citizenship.
The list published on the ministry's website comprised more than 400 names of various nationalities, including a quarter of Syrians and just over a quarter of Palestinians.
Its most notable include one of Iraq's two vice-presidents, Iyad Allawi, who is also British and whose mother was Lebanese, as well as his wife and three children.
From Syria, those on the list include the three sons of Syrian steel and flour mogul Farouq Joud, powerful industrialist Khaldun al-Zoabi and Mazen Mortada, the son of a former Syrian minister.
Under Lebanese law, foreign businessmen are not permitted to invest in Lebanon without local partners.
Foreigners can only be naturalised by presidential decree, signed by the prime minister and interior minister.
Naturalisation is controversial in the tiny Mediterranean state, where power is shared according to religious parity.
Fears of upsetting that fragile demographic balance are often cited as the reason Lebanese women cannot pass their nationality onto children born to foreign fathers.