That’s probably the best decision our politicians have taken ever since we had a new president and government. I find it hard to believe that some were against renewing for Salameh after all that he’s done in the past few years. He managed to stabilize the country’s currency despite the political paralysis that the country witnessed for years and has kept Lebanese banks safe from US sanctions and a potential banking crisis.
I’m not saying his policies are perfect and that he shouldn’t be criticized but I don’t think any of the ruling parties has the right to do so, especially when it’s for selfish political gains. For those who claim that Lebanon is on the brink of an economic crisis because of his policies, keep in mind that we haven’t had a president for almost 3 years, nor a government at some point for quite some time and no national budget since 2005.
Here’s a small excerpt on the governor’s role taken from a recent article on Lebanon’s economy:
The governor of BdL stands centre-stage in Lebanon’s economic theatre. In theory, the central bank’s mandate is limited to three things: stabilizing the country’s currency, containing inflation and regulating the banking sector. Salamé has been successful on all three accounts, despite the political paralysis that could have affected his regulatory role. In November 2015, an otherwise defunct parliament convened to vote on two laws against financing terrorism, thus enabling Lebanese banks to meet international standards, maintain their access to the dollar, and generally reassure the markets. Observers credited Salamé for this extraordinary—indeed, unconstitutional—session.
The halo surrounding Salamé extends beyond his vast practical influence and into the realm of the mythological. The economic elite of Lebanon are quasi-unanimous in their acclaim of a governor who has also received numerous distinctions abroad, to include the French “Legion d’Honneur,” the “Euromoney Award of the Best Central Banker,” and—most whimsically—the “Arab Creativity Award in Economics.” In recent years, a string of documentaries, interviews and panegyrics have weaved a personality cult, exemplified by this excerpt from MEA’s inflight magazine: “He is the exceptional man for an exceptional post in an exceptional era, and the pioneering successful initiatives he designed for the Lebanese Central Bank have rendered it a model for the world to follow. This is Riad Salamé, the best Central Bank Governor in the world.”