The Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative and nine other NGOs called on President Michel Aoun to disclose his rationale for returning to Parliament a law that aims to combat corruption in the public sector and create a National Anti-corruption Commission.
The law was ratified on June 26. However, the president exercised his constitutional right to return the law to Parliament soon after it was approved.
Without this legislation, three other anti-corruption laws approved by parliament in recent years will remain largely unimplementable; the Right of Access to Information Law, the Whistleblower Protection Law, and the Law on Strengthening Transparency in the Petroleum Sector, which LOGI strongly advocated for.
Broadly, the National Anti-corruption Commission is tasked with preventing, detecting and combating corruption.
The 10 NGOs called on Parliament to speed up its re-adoption of the law.
Former MP Ghassan Mokhieber, a prime architect of the legislation, told LOGI that Aoun had submitted comments on three general and nine specific issues. The MP is set to present Aoun with a set of responses in early September. He said most of the concerns could have been resolved without returning the law to Parliament,
“Unfortunately, we are wasting time,” he said. “This law has been thoroughly studied for more than 10 years, and it is fundamental to fighting corruption.”
Lebanon regularly ranks among the most corrupt countries in this world, this year placing 138th out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index.