Hizbullah-affiliated Lebanese journalist Ali Al-Hijazi said that Lebanon needs a benevolent dictator to lead the people and to instill fear into them. He made his remarks in an interview that aired on OTV (Lebanon) on June 29, 2021. Al-Hijazi said that Lebanese politics is rife with nepotism, people remain in the same leadership roles that their grandfathers held 100 years ago. He added that according to the new elections law, candidates are required to have the sufficient funds to buy off thousands of votes. Al-Hijazi said that if this is democracy, "to hell with democracy." He also said that the Lebanese people "are living like dogs," searching for gas from station to station and baby formula from pharmacy to pharmacy.
Ali Al-Hijazi: "The discourse in the country today revolves around the question of forming a government without annoying anybody, while all the Lebanese are broke and humiliated. We are living like dogs."
Interviewer: "To what extent?"
Al-Hijazi: "Yes, let me tell you why. A dog moves around from one garbage dump to another in search of food, while we move around from one gas station to another in search of gasoline, and from one pharmacy to another in search of baby formula. We need a benevolent dictator."
Interviewer: "How can that work?"
Al-Hijazi: "Yes, a benevolent dictator."
Interviewer: "How can a dictatorship and a benevolence go together?"
Al-Hijazi: "We need him to rule us, to teach us, to fear the law, to instill fear into us... What are we? We, Lebanese, are still under the impression that we are this great people, that we are the only ones who understand anything, that we know how to live and do things differently. We laugh at other people but we have come to a point where we are told that we are eating donkey meat without knowing. Isn't that right? I hope that no one is upset by me. Let's take the gloves off tonight, otherwise there is no use.
What democracy are we talking about? Do we have democracy in Lebanon? If someone's grandfather was a 'leader' he continues to be a 'leader' for 100 years. If this is democracy – to hell with it! If someone is fighting to succeed, we ask him who his father is? We still use titles like 'bey,' 'leader,' and 'sheikh' – is this democracy? Go to parliament and look at all the people who are tied to their seats. Maybe some of them have a record that justifies this, but democracy that prevents poor people from being a part of the politics in the country is not a democracy. This elections law that was passed recently does not only require you being over 25 and having a certificate of good conduct, but you must have enough money in the bank to buy 6,000-7,000 votes. How much money was paid in the last election by the candidates in order to ensure their place in the electoral lists? How many [parliament] seats were bought? How many billionaires are there in the parliament? We have talked about this a hundred times. Is this democracy?