BEIRUT - Controversy erupted between members of Lebanon’s cabinet Thursday after Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil tweeted during a session that funding had been secured for a road connecting the north Lebanon towns of Tannourine Tahta and Tannourine Fawqa.
Cabinet sources told NOW that a number of road projects in various areas of Lebanon were passed on Thursday after approval had been postponed the previous week.
During the session Bassil posted a message on his twitter feed congratulating residents of the two towns.
“Congratulations to Batroun. The cabinet has approved the sum of 18 million dollars to [complete] the Tannourine Tahta - Tannourine Fawqa road,” the tweet read.
The source added that “When State Minister for Administrative Reform Nabil De Freige heard about [the] tweet - while he was still at the cabinet table - he requested to speak, shocked by [Bassil’s] conduct.”
“[De Freige complained] that ‘one of the ministers’ had taken credit for something he had nothing to do with.”
“After the tweet was sent, Aounists and supporters of Bassil in Batroun put up banners thanking the foreign minister.”
Telecoms Minister Boutros Harb confirmed the story in a telephone interview with NOW, adding that “that money is the people’s money. It is not from the pocket of any minister.”
“It is not the first time that the minister in question has attributed achievements to himself that he did not bring about or call for.”