War of Words Escalates between FPM, PSP
The war of words is still raging between the Progressive Socialist Party and the Free Patriotic Movement against the backdrop of mutual dismissal of staff members.
Caretaker State Minister of Anti-Corruption Nicolas Tueini, of the FPM, said in remarks he made to the Saudi Asharq al-Awsat on Thursday: “Trading accusations and political debate do not serve the interests of the country that is suffering politically and economically." He said that President Aoun (FPM founder) "is not a partner in the failures of the Lebanese regime for a quarter of a century until now".
In an indirect reply to PSP statements accusing Aoun’s tenure of being a “failure,” Tueini said: “When militias were terrorizing the country and people, Aoun was defending the state and institutions. He did not get involved in corruption and the policy of debts, nor was he part of the failed economic policy.”
For his part, PSP Secretary Zafer Nasser lashed out at the FPM and the tenure of President Michel Aoun “likening it” to the ideology of the terrorist “Islamic State group.”
“The mentality of the Islamic State group leading this tenure is to blame for driving the political situation this low,” he said.
“We believed that Daesh is a certain criminal pattern, but the recent practices proved that Daesh is a mentality in power and exercises political action in Lebanon,” he added.
The FPM has sacked two state employees from their posts, Nizar Hani from the Ministry of Environment who is also director of the Cedar Biosphere in the Chouf Mountains, and Raja al-Ali an EDL staff member.
The dismissal came after caretaker Environment Minister Marwan Hamadeh dismissed Hilda Khoury from his ministry.
A war of words through social media spiked after PSP leader Walid Jumblat on Tuesday launched a blistering verbal attack on the “owners” of both the country's private power generators and the Turkish power ships as well as some officials at state-run Electricité Du Liban and the Environment Ministry.
Dismissals have triggered a wave of rage on social media.
Civil society activists organized an expression of solidarity with Nizar Hani near the Cedar Biosphere.
PSP supporters launched Twitter hashtags in reaction.