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Proposed amnesty law in Lebanon would weaken accountability and reduce state revenues

The Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA) – No Corruption, condemns the proposed general amnesty law, set to be voted upon by the Lebanese parliament. The proposed law contradicts the Lebanese state's commitment to curb corruption, tax evasion, money laundering and illicit enrichment. It also jeopardises large amount of desperately needed state revenue, and will not contribute in any way to restoring trust between citizens and the political authorities. After three weeks of uninterrupted popular protest calling for action against corruption and serious reforms to the national fiscal policies, it will only sow confusion and further unrest.

The next government of Lebanon will face acute financial and social challenges. LTA therefore again calls on parliamentarians to prioritise a number of other laws in parliamentary voting sessions. Most important among these are the draft amendment to the law of illicit enrichment, the draft law on combating corruption in the public sector, and the establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) in a manner that guarantees the independence of the judiciary and their right to appoint NACC representatives. Parliament must also prioritise the draft amendment to the 2017 access to information law in order to speed up its effective implementation. Parliament must also guarantee and strengthen the independence and freedom of the judiciary.

LTA also emphasizes the need to ensure the open participation of civil society experts and representatives in discussions of anti-corruption measures, in order to achieve legislation that is in line with the Lebanese State's domestic and international commitments.

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