Lebanese citizens have the right to ask for an “exceptional government”, whether a “government that prioritizes parliamentary elections” excluding electoral candidates or a “political government” that is supposed to include a consistent and productive team. The issue today is no longer linked to the government’s title and the ministerial statement terminology. It is not related to the identity of the winner and the loser in the elections, but it has rather become a structural matter related to the country’s raison d'être, dignity, hierarchy, role, as well as the performance of its institutions and services vis-à-vis public affairs, general welfare, and public money.
It is also linked to the ability of the authorities and constitutional institutions to govern, exercise their powers, spread out their sovereignty, control the borders, endorse the “defense strategy” according to the principle of weapons’ exclusivity, and undertake the necessary reforms.
'Lebanon’s interest' lies in the formation of an 'exceptional government' as the prime minister-designate wishes, and as the Lebanese citizens deserveMazen Hayek
Moreover, this “exceptional government” should be able to work on a series of socio-economic measures to find permanent resources for the “series of ranks and salaries”, provide the economic recovery requirements, address the accumulated debt, control corruption, reduce unemployment, poverty and migration, go through the appointments without resorting to quotas, provide necessary services for the citizens, and solve basic urgent files… Most importantly, this government must be up-to-date!
What citizens deserve
Citizens have the right to request a government that will be optimistic and represent trust, enhance its role, restore Lebanon’s independent attendance in international and Arab forums, improve the country’s image, reputation and competitiveness, establish institutions and services, work on the economy and business growth, mitigate political and sectarian tension and enforce the law. Finally, the government shall protect Lebanese citizens’ lives and properties, and hold accountable security violators. In the meantime, we call upon Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam, to act before (and after) the formation of the government in order to achieve the following:
I – Encouraging Lebanon’s friends and neighboring countries to prove their support in the “appointment consultations”, through contributing to the acceleration of the “formation” process, along with canceling the “travel ban to Lebanon” and re-activating the decisions adopted at the Paris 3 donor conference.
II – Providing the required support for the Lebanese army, security forces and “services”, including the Information branch of the Internal Security Forces.
III - Request immediate assistance for displaced Syrians in Lebanon.
IV- Support Lebanon’s “self-distancing” policy regarding the Syrian crisis, and respecting Lebanon's international obligations.
V - Securing Gulf financial deposits at the Central Bank of Lebanon “BDL”, to ascertain confidence and the return of capitals that contribute to the revitalization of economy, investment, and tourism activities.
Finally – Requesting Arab and international supervision on the upcoming elections.
“Lebanon’s interest” lies in the formation of an “exceptional government” as the prime minister-designate wishes, and as the Lebanese citizens deserve, not as those who fear that Salam’s task would only be limited to managing the crisis, and holding parliamentary elections. Although the upcoming election are very important... however, a “man shall not live on elections alone” in Lebanon!
This article was first published in Lebanon-based Annahar on April 12, 2013.
Mazen Hayek is a MarComms & Media practitioner in MENA; weekly op-ed columnist in Annahar Lebanon, he can be followed on Twitter: @HayekMG