'Bassil Doesn't Represent Me': Why Lebanese People Are Angry at Davos for Inviting Their FM

Published January 20th, 2020 - 10:07 GMT
"Bassil Doesn't Represent Me": Lebanese Social Media Splits Over FM Participation at the WEF at Davos
Bassil is scheduled to be a keynote speaker in a session titled "The Return of the Arab Unrest". (Twitter / 2019)

People in Lebanon are tying to draw attention to their frustration over Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil's participation in this year's World Economic Forum. Taking to social media, many are voicing their rejection to having Bassil represent their country amid a tense economic climate.

Protests that erupted across Lebanon since October have frequently attacked Gebran Bassil and other politicians who have been accused of exploiting the political system for their own benefits. 

Lebanese people on social media are rejecting Bassil's participation in the global economic event, where he will ironically speak in a session on January 23rd about the return of unrest in Middle Eastern countries, including Lebanon.

Some people expressed their shock that the Lebanese politician has been invited to comment on a topic that he "hasn't successfully dealt with," urging organizers of the World Economic Forum to withdraw their invitation and emphasizing that "he doesn't represent them."

While social media exploded in anger in reaction to Bassil's scheduled talk during the WEF, some tweeted their support for the foreign minister, calling him one of the "best politicians in Lebanon's history" and the "right person to represent their country internationally."

Bassil is a leading politician in the Free Patriotic Movement, the political party founded by his father-in-law and Lebanese President Michel Aoun, tying him in deeply with the elite political class that many are protesting against. 

Deadly clashes over the dire state in Lebanon have broken out only days before Bassil's expected attendance at WEF.

This marks the third month that anti-government protests continue to rock the country where people are calling for a new non-sectarian political system and better economic policies. 

According to economic experts, the Lebanese economy is in its worst state in decades and is on the verge of a complete collapse, especially if protests endure and the formation of a government continues to stall. 

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