By Naim Berjawi
BEIRUT (AA) - The head of the Lebanese Forces party on Monday renewed his call for holding early parliamentary elections in order to resolve the country's economic crisis.
Samir Geagea's remarks came in a speech during a rally organized by his party in the capital Beirut in commemoration of the first anniversary of the massive explosion in the port of Beirut.
On Aug. 4, 2020, a huge blast occurred in Beirut port, killing more than 217 people and injuring around 7,000 as well as causing massive material damage to residential buildings and commercial establishments.
"The radical treatment of Lebanon's crisis will only take place by changing the ruling group through parliamentary elections as soon as possible," Geagea said.
The country’s next parliamentary elections are scheduled for March 2022 amid fears that parliament may extend its mandate as it did in 2009, 2013 and 2014 through a law pertaining to "exceptional security conditions that the country is going through."
Geagea also addressed those responsible for the explosion, saying "no matter how much you evade and no matter how much you try to obstruct justice, you will be tried."
The Lebanese Forces party is a Maronite Christian party that competes in the Lebanese arena with the Free Patriotic Movement led by President Michel Aoun.
Lebanon has been unable to form a new administration since the resignation of former Prime Minister Hassan Diab's Cabinet on Aug. 10, 2020, six days after the Beirut blast.
The Arab country is facing a severe economic crisis, with the local currency losing nearly all of its value against the US dollar, with streets witnessing massive protests and rallies.
*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat