Exclusive: French Reform Proposal for Lebanon in Details | News

  Exclusive: French Reform Proposal for Lebanon in Details |  News

Beirut, Lebanon – French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Lebanon has offered to help provide much-needed assistance to the crisis-stricken country if its politicians do well in long-term reform.

Speaking at the guest residence of the French ambassador, declared by Greater Lebanon Colonial France 100 years ago, Macron said he would hold an international aid rally in October at a donors’ conference aimed at rebuilding the capital after last month’s devastating explosion and halting the country’s economic operations. Death

But, “We will not give Lebanon a Carte Blanche or a blank check,” he added, adding that everything is conditional on whether the country’s radical leaders can unite around change.

4 Gust explosions Lebanon was plunged into an economic crisis, even before the Gust blast, which killed at least 1 person, wounded more than 1,000, and damaged the vast expanses of Beirut.

His government halved from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program and half from the development fund pledged by the host of donor countries at the 2018 donor conference. 20 billion in financial aid. An additional b 5bn is now needed for Beirut’s reconstruction, as well as for humanitarian aid.

Macron said Lebanese leaders had promised to form a government with 15 days, after which several reforms should be implemented in one to three months.

Ahead of Tuesday’s meetings, the French embassy distributed a “draft program for a new government” to heads of political departments, which Al Jazeera has received.

The French draft proposals come in very intense details of public policy in Lebanon, outlining some laws and projects and excluding others.

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Here are the main points:

COVID-19 and the humanitarian situation

  • The government will develop and disseminate a coronavirus epidemic control plan, which includes “support for the most vulnerable”.

  • It will strengthen the social security net program for the population.

After the Beirut blast

  • The government will facilitate the distribution of humanitarian aid provided by the international community Coordinated by the United Nations – “Quickly, transparently and effectively”.

  • It will implement a regime to allow the distribution of aid “in a transparent and detectable way”.

  • It will begin reconstruction based on a needs assessment by the World Bank, the EU and the UN which estimated the value of the damage caused by the explosion up to 6 4.6bn.

  • The government will soon launch a tender for the re-construction of the Beirut port in accordance with “neutral” standards.

  • It will conduct an “impartial and independent investigation” into the port explosion, with the support of Lebanon’s international partners … within a reasonable time frame “enabling to establish the full truth regarding the causes of the explosion.”

Improvement

  • The government will regularly exchange views with civil society on its program and its reform.

  • It will immediately resume stalled negotiations with the IMF and quickly approve the steps requested by the lender, including the Capital Control Act and a “full audit” of the central bank’s accounts.

  • The French proposal also seeks approval of a timetable for working with the IMF within 15 days of the government’s confidence.

It continues to propose time limits for sector-specific improvements.

Electric field

Within a month, the government will:

  • Appoint to the National Electricity Regulatory Authority in accordance with Act 462/2002 “without amendment” and provide resources to the Authority to carry out its functions.

  • Launch tenders for gas-powered power plants to plug Lebanon’s huge energy gap.

  • “Abandon” controversial Celta power plant project in its current form. The project is a President Michel Oun and his free patriotic movement Party Insisted on.

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Within three months, the government will:

  • “Announce a timetable for raising electricity prices, although this will affect the most financially affluent consumers.”

Capital control

Within a month:

  • Parliament should finalize and approve a draft law on capital controls that would be “immediately implemented for a period of four years” after approval by the IMF.

Governance, judicial and financial rules

Within a month, the government will:

  • Hold a meeting to move forward to the 2018 donor conference, in which the international community pledged 11 11bn in soft loans, and launched a website dedicated to follow up on projects, financing and related improvements.

  • Full judicial, financial and administrative appointments, including members of the Supreme Judicial Council, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority and regulatory bodies in the fields of electricity, telecommunications and civil aviation, “according to standards based on transparency and competence”.

  • Approve legislation on the independence of the judiciary in Parliament.

  • Start a study on the public administration of Lebanon “with a special office” by an “independent international organization” such as the World Bank or the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Fighting corruption and smuggling

Within a month, the government will:

  • Appoint members of the National Anti-Corruption Commission and give it the resources to start its work.

  • Start the track to adopt the 1997 OECD Treaty to Fight Corruption.

  • Apply custom corrections with immediate effect.

Within three months, the government will:

  • Establish “control gates” and strengthen surveillance at Beirut and Tripoli ports and Beirut airport, as well as other border crossings.

Public procurement reform

Within a month:

  • Parliament will prepare, adopt and implement a bill on public procurement reform.

  • The government will allow the High Council for Privatization the necessary human and economic capabilities to carry out its functions.

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Public money

Within a month:

  • Prepare and vote on the “Reform Finance Bill which clearly defines the status of accounts for the year 2020”.

By the end of the year:

  • Prepare and approve a “harmonious” budget for the year 2021.

Election

  • “The government will ensure that new assembly elections are held within a maximum period of one year.”
  • “Electoral law will be amended with the full inclusion of civil society, making Parliament more representative of the aspirations of civil society.”

In his speech later Wednesday, however, Moron Kron appeared to be withdrawing his proposal for early elections, saying there was “no consensus” on early elections and that other reforms were a priority.

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