Power cut hits parliament session in Lebanon, MPs forced to ask Hezbollah for power generators
The blackout hit the UNESCO Palace in Beirut just days after PM Mikati derided the arrival of the much-needed Iranian fuel
By News Desk - September 20 2021

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads a parliamentary session to discuss the new cabinet’s policy program and hold a vote of confidence at UNESCO Palace in Beirut, Lebanon. 20 September, 2021. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir)

On 20 September, the Lebanese parliament convened to hold a vote of confidence for the newly formed cabinet and to discuss their new policy program, before a power cut delayed proceedings for nearly one hour.

The power cut, which hit the UNESCO Palace in Beirut just moments before the session was set to begin, was reportedly caused by a faulty generator, forcing lawmakers to ask Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah for help in providing power to the building.

MP Ibrahim Al-Moussawi said he contacted Hezbollah authorities in Beirut, who then dispatched two generators loaded with diesel oil to allow the Parliament session to begin.

Last week Hezbollah brought Iranian fuel into Lebanon as part of a move that sought to help the country out of a severe energy crisis that has left citizens with an average of only two hours of electricity per day.

Following the entry of Iranian fuel into Lebanon, Prime Minister Najib Mikati derided the move saying it made him “sad”, despite the fact that Lebanese citizens welcomed the much-needed fuel with widespread jubilation.

With the arrival of the Hezbollah-donated generators, Monday’s parliament session finally got underway, but not before the parliamentarians were mocked across social media, with many saying they were glad Lebanon’s political elite were getting a taste of their daily suffering.

The irony of the situation was not lost on the MPs either. During the opening remarks of Prime Minister Mikati, Parliament’s influential speaker Nabih Berri interrupted him suggesting he not read his entire policy statement as it was not clear how long the electricity would stay on.

“Let us not bother you to read it all out. Let us save time because of the electricity issue,” he said.

Later, MP Jamil al-Sayyed even played a song by the late musician Melhem Barakat, in reference to the joy of citizens whenever a power blackout ends.


Lebanese citizens have lived for months with rolling blackouts and severe shortages in fuel, diesel and medicine. The blackouts have forced hospitals to reduce their operations and threatened to shut down bakeries and schools. Lines of cars stretching for several kilometers waiting to fill up at gas stations are a daily occurrence at gas stations across the country.

Hezbollah authorities have announced that at least three more fuel shipments are on their way from Iran. US officials and their regional allies have been trying to find ways to provide alternative energy sources for Lebanon, but so far have had little success.

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