Baroud Ends his Duties as Caretaker Minister: An Acting Minister Can Carry Out this Mission
Caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud announced on Thursday that he will no longer carry out his duties as a caretaker minister.
He said during a press conference in response to this morning’s incidents at one of the Telecommunications Ministry buildings in the Adlieh district: “It appears to me that reason in Lebanon has taken a holiday and the law has become a point of view.”
“I have come to realize in the past few days that the problem in Lebanon is much greater than it appears to be,” he stated.
“Because I don’t want to act as a false witness or a caretaker minister whose role is limited to signing the ministry’s mail, which something an acting minister can do, and because I refuse to violate the constitution … I have liberated myself of these tasks,” he stressed.
“I say to the Lebanese that taking them hostage is no longer acceptable,” Baroud said.
The minister asserted that he has long refused to take sides in the ongoing political divide in Lebanon, adding that the political camp that caretaker Telecommunications Minister Charbel Nahhas is affiliated with has not spared him its criticism, while he is not disputed with the other political camp.
Earlier on Thursday, security forces prevented Nahhas, several directors at the ministry, and a technical team from entering one of the ministry’s buildings at the Adlieh area.
Sources told Naharnet, that the minister and the technical team headed to the building in order to dismantle a mobile phone station belonging to OGERO Telecom.
Later Thursday, Baroud issued a statement in which he expressed his “extreme regret over mentioning the name of President Michel Suleiman in remarks” voiced by some parties Thursday afternoon, stressing that the president has never abandoned his support for him.
Baroud stressed that his step, “which stemmed from keenness on implementing the law, is totally in line with President Suleiman’s stances and keenness on state institutions.”
For his part, Suleiman held phone talks Thursday with caretaker Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar on “whether it is possible for the public prosecutor’s office to tackle what happened today” at the telecom ministry building, state-run National News Agency reported.
Suleiman and Najjar discussed specifically the issue of “the Internal Security Forces’ refusal to implement the interior minister’s resolution stipulating the withdrawal of the ISF personnel from the telecom ministry building,” according to NNA.