This had been happening as Lebanon is in dire need of financial support to deal with its economic crisis, “one of the world’s worst crises since the mid-nineteenth century,” as declared by the World Bank.
On Thursday, April 7th, Lebanon finally managed to secure a deal with the IMF for $3 billion in aid on the condition that it implements the necessary reforms.
However, the reforms, which are crucial to saving the country and easing people’s lasting hardships, have to wait as the politicians are “busy” campaigning for their seats in the parliament.
On Friday, a day after the IMF’s announcement of the reached deal, Reuters reported that PM Najib Mikati’s Adviser, Nicolas Nahhas, said that the reforms will not happen before the elections, since MPs are now busy with their electoral campaigns.
Nahhas stated that “this wasn’t meant to be done in a few weeks and no one serious would say it should be done in that time frame.”
“The agreement is a kind of benchmark of what should come after elections. So, after elections, parliament will start studying quickly these actions and then we shall see how we go forward,” he added.
Amal Movement’s MP, Yassin Jaber, said earlier that the parliament may approve a capital control law and budget law before the elections, which are part of the IMF’s conditions. However, as the report mentioned, the current government did not work on the rest of the reforms.
The IMF has demanded numerous reforms as part of the deal. This includes restoring the financial sector, restructuring the public debt, reforms in state-owned institutions, strengthening anti-corruption frameworks, and establishing a credible exchange rate system.
The agreement with the IMF might bring Lebanon on the right track to tackle the ongoing financial collapse if priority is given to the reforms. With the announced delay, the upcoming parliamentary elections might push the Lebanese voters to make wiser choices that could propel them out of the catastrophic crisis.
At this stage, the Lebanese people are not trusting that the same politicians and parties that brought Lebanon to its collapse will implement reforms or properly use the IMF aid for its purpose.