LEBANON: Universal Syriac Union Party President Ibrahim Mrad denounces Gebran Bassil’s Christian cover for Hezbollah

BEIRUT — Ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections, Free Patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil Gibran has announced his party’s list of candidates and confirmed his alliance with Iran-aligned Hezbollah. President of the Universal Syriac Union Party (USUP) Ibrahim Mrad stated that Bassil’s recent stances are an attack on all other political parties to stir up supporters’ feelings against their political opponents. Mrad calls Gebran Bassil’s recent statements and alliances void.

Gebran Basil Gibran, a Syriac Maronite, was Minister of Energy and Water between 2011–2014 and Foreign Affairs Minister between 2015–2020. During his term as Minister of Energy, Bassil promised uninterrupted electricity. He has led the Free Patriotic Movement since 2015, in an alliance with Hezbollah, and is the son-in-law of President Michel Aoun.

“The electricity network is almost completely destroyed and on the verge of death,” Mrad stated.

“Bassil’s statements are an evasion from the catastrophic political failure of the presidency of Michel Aoun, for more than five years now. It is an attempt to deceive all and hide the squandering of public funds which should have been invested in the electricity network. The Lebanese people’s ongoing suffering from the broken electricity supply is the strongest evidence of this.”

Mrad accused Bassil of wanting to get Hezbollah’s support and votes, thereby giving direct legitimacy to Hezbollah and its activities which have proved disastrous for Lebanon. “We and all honest Lebanese people find him a traitor because he gives Hezbollah a Christian cover,” said Mrad. “We have warned over and over against this cover, and support the Lebanese Forces Party candidates to prevent the Christian bloc of Gebran Bassil and the Free Patriotic Movement from coming to power.”