Makary to "Akhbar Al-Yawm": to elect a president who communicates with opponents before allies

Makary to "Akhbar Al-Yawm": to elect a president who communicates with opponents before allies

| Thursday 24 November 2022

 “Akhbar al-Yawm” agency

From the World Cup to the presidential entitlement and the chances of the head of the Marada movement to be elected president down to the reality of the media, files were put forward by the "Akhbar al-Yawm" agency with Information Minister Ziad Makary, who recently met with French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of his participation in the Francophone summit held in Tunisia.

FIFA World Cup Qatar

At the beginning of the meeting, Makary explained the details of negotiating for the broadcast of the World Cup matches in Qatar, saying: since the first day I took over my duties at the ministry, I started working to ensure the broadcast of matches via Lebanese television, and we made contacts with Qatar, and we hoped that the matter would be included in the assistance provided to Lebanon, so this broadcast would be a gift to the Lebanese people.

He added: the communication did not succeed permanently, so I asked the president of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, to send a letter to the Emir of Qatar in this regard, and I went with the minister of Tourism Walid Nassar to Doha, where we met with Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al-Thani and handed him the letter, and then the Qatari side contacted me asking us to make an offer, so my response was that it would be a gift like aid to the army, for example. The response from the company that handles the broadcast was that it is a commercial company and cannot provide broadcasting for free, and in light of the negotiations we achieved an acceptable figure (about 5 million dollars), but due to the lack of formation of the government and the irregular work of institutions, we could not pay the amount.

Is there hope yet for securing the broadcast? Makary pointed out that he continues to follow up the issue with Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

He continued: I do not watch the World Cup matches, and I consider that I failed in this file.

Meeting with Macron

Turning to the political files, Makary spoke about the meeting with President Macron on the sidelines of the Francophone summit, pointing out that France is interested in the Lebanese situation, and stressed its insistence on electing the president of the Republic, revealing that if a president is not elected as soon as possible, Lebanon may be exposed to international pressure, saying: Anyway, this is what I hear from all the ambassadors accredited in Lebanon, meaning that the topic is on the table, and no it's a secret .

Seventh session

The dialogue coincided with the holding of the seventh electoral session, where Makary considered that it is not possible to prevent the speaker of the House of Representatives (Nabih Berri) from setting a date for the presidential election session, as his failure to take this step exposes him to criticism, and therefore he is fully fulfilling his duty.

He pointed out that the votes received by MP Michel Moawad cannot rise, and therefore this nomination is no longer feasible and brings us back to the stage of nominating Dr. Samir Geagea in 2014, which led to the holding of about 45 meetings.

In response to a question, Makary considered that "consensus" is a blow to democracy, so I prefer to talk about a candidate, who has political ideas and a clear program on the basis of which understanding is achieved with others, saying: Frangieh is the only person who has no problem talking to everyone.

Is your political team upset by Saudi Arabia's support for Frangieh, or his political opponents at home? Makary answered firmly: on the contrary, this matter is required and follows the same logic of "reconciliation", as a candidate should not have any problem communicating with influential countries in Lebanon such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, France and the United States, Syria. Also, any candidate who cannot speak to opponents before allies cannot be president, and if elected, the country will again enter into a new crisis.

Media status

As for the media, Makary pointed out that a new factor has entered the media world in recent years, is the internet and what emerged from it from social networking sites, including news sites, considering that there is no mechanism to determine how to manage those sites.

Makary said: as part of the follow-up to this file, I held a meeting with the chairman of the National Council for Audiovisual Media Abdel Hadi Mahfouz to get to a certain and simple mechanism, at least in order to limit the work of the sites pending the issuance of the law, this means: who owns these sites, does the one running them deserve or qualified to do so, what is the number of employees, Office headquarters, payment of warranty requirements ... It is not allowed to have sites that have become references in the media, in contrast to which a person occupies a site through a smartphone with COPY-PASTE from here or there... This reality leads to injustice.

He considered that "addressing this reality may be related to the new media law that we are currently working on, revealing in this context that, with the approval of the House of Representatives, we withdrew the law that was being discussed before the committees, specifically the administration and Justice Committee, and after the permission of its chairman, MP George Adwan, the law was published on the Ministry of information website in order to have a public discussion about it in Lebanon, and everyone who has an opinion on this subject, informs us about it. Yesterday was the deadline for receiving notes, and we will extend the period for an additional week".

Makary concluded: "based on these observations, we will hold a workshop to study them and thus come up with a modern law proposal to refer it back to the House of Representatives".

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