Lebanese officials scramble to pay bills after ruling to cut their electricity off
Lebanese officials' owed dues total nearly $800,000. (AFP/File)
Lebanese officials rushed to settle overdue electricity bills Wednesday, after Financial Prosecutor Judge Ali Ibrahim ruled that power would be cut off to the homes and companies of politicians who had not paid. A judicial source told The Daily Star that the 13-member list includes heads of parties, committees, former and current ministers, and MPs.
Sources told the Central News Agency that some officials had rushed in after the ruling to pay.
The sources said that the 13 officials had owed dues since before 2000, totaling LL1.2 billion (nearly $800,000). The sources said that a second list is being prepared. Media outlets circulated the names mentioned in the list, many from wealthy families.
Lebanon’s elite have long been accused of dodging payments.
Lebanon has had blackouts for decades, as the power plants operated by EDL do not generate enough for 24-hour electricity. Even so, the electricity sector costs the state around $2 billion a year.
Ibrahim had previously informed EDL Chairman Kamal Hayek of his decision so it could be implemented.
Sources said Ibrahim’s decision was a warning for politicians who have not paid, allowing them to do so quickly before they faced prosecution.
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