Diab Denies Being Hizbullah's PM, Says Did Not Bow to Bassil
Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Sunday denied being “Hizbullah’s candidate” as he noted that he did not bow to Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil.
“I was not Hizbullah's candidate, my government was not Hizbullah's government and I was rather an independent candidate,” Diab said in an interview with MTV’s veteran talk-show host Ricardo Karam.
Describing his relation with President Michel Aoun as “very good, cordial and governed by the constitution,” Diab stressed that he did not bow to the will of Aoun’s son-in-law Bassil.
“My authority was the constitution and I communicated with him the same as I communicated with the heads of the other blocs,” the caretaker PM added.
“Those who know me know that I cannot be subjugated,” Diab stressed.
As for the rampant corruption in the country, the premier said “the corruption network is deep-rooted in the country and blocks every reformist project.”
“Unfortunately it has become a culture and we need to destroy this culture and replace it with the culture of the state,” Diab added, decrying that “corruption is what is ruling the state today.”
As for the catastrophic Beirut port explosion, Diab said the blast was “a form of corruption.”
Asked why he postponed a visit to inspect the port’s hangar 12 a few weeks before the explosion, which could have averted the disaster, the caretaker PM said he preferred to wait for concrete information after he received “conflicting reports” about the nature of the stored material.
“To date, my government has not received any satellite images of the Beirut port explosion,” he said about the footage that Lebanon has requested from Western countries.
Asked whether the blast was “deliberate,” Diab said “it is up to the judiciary and not the executive authority to rule on this.”
“Beirut will rise again as it did in the past,” he reassured.
Diab also called for a “technocrat” new government that can address the country’s multiple crises “away from divisions.”