Enough prejudice against the Lebanese president

Lebanon President Michel Suleiman frankly announced it more than a year ago, in an interview with al-Nahar newspaper. He said he does not want to extend his presidential term and that he respects, or rather commits to, the constitution and will therefore leave the city of Baabda when his presidential term ends. We support his decision because we appreciate his role as well as his stances, and we don’t wish upon him an ending similar to that of presidents who accepted or demanded an extension and ended up toppled in the streets or spending their entirety in solitary like fugitives.

But the issue is out of the question with President Suleiman as he repeatedly confirmed that he rejects violating the constitution. We hope nothing pushes him towards altering his stance and that he doesn’t yield to temptations of posts and privileges - if that can be found in this country of struggles and crises.

But what is surprising is that some March 8 parties insist that President Suleiman is seeking an extension of his term. March 8 sources said Suleiman did not make a decisive decision until Hezbollah informed him, via a delegate, that it rejects the idea of extending his term.

We are thus confronting a test of credibility - but this test is intended for others and not intended for the president as he has not altered his stance

Nayla Tueni

We are thus confronting a test of credibility - but this test is intended for others and not intended for the president as he has not altered his stance. If the issue is going to be tackled, then why not reveal all the facts instead of distorting the reality in such an unsophisticated manner? And if the battle is political, and it actually is, then responding to an argument with an argument is the core of political work and part of its principles. This requires quitting the militant game of imposing decisions via the power of arms, like what happened on May 7, 2008, and other occasions.

If all parties are concerned that deadlines are met then why don’t they take the initiative of announcing the names of their candidates and why don’t candidates air their vision of Lebanon’s future and their solutions to all its unresolved problems? If they don’t do so, then they are, one way or another, accomplices against meeting deadlines, thus paving the way to a breakdown of the transition of power. In this case, their rejection would be blackmail.

There has been enough prejudice against the president.

This article was first published in al-Nahar on Dec. 16, 2013.


Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42
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