The advantages of Christian consensus in Lebanon

The Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese Forces’ rapprochement ends a dark chapter in relations between the two Lebanese Christian parties. Tensions between them had negative repercussions on Christian society. However, there are fears that cooperation will remain limited to obstructing institutions' work, and thus hindering the legislation required to run the state and citizens’ affairs.

The Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese Forces’ rapprochement ends a dark chapter in relations between the two Lebanese Christian parties.

Nayla Tueni

The best course of action has been expressed by Change and Reform bloc MP Farid al-Khazen, who on Sunday called on Christian blocs to agree on the major details of a draft electoral law so they can discuss it with Muslim parties and eventually approve it in parliament. Without a consensus, there is no point including the draft law on the legislative session’s agenda.

Obstruction

Everyone has wasted time since parliament’s term has been extended. Each party had its reasons and concerns. Some had their domestic and regional calculations to take into account. Therefore no one has managed to finalize an electoral law that all parties can agree on.

The ball is now in the Christians’ court, as Christian parties must respect the constitution, adhere to the Taif Agreement, and prepare draft laws that harmonize with it. Otherwise, other parties may exploit the situation to link our domestic reality to regional affairs, leading to dangerous repercussions.

As such, good intentions should be translated into positive practises that avoid confrontation with other parties and obstruction of institutions’ work. Affairs should be finalized to serve the Christian community and higher national interests.

This article was first published in an-Nahar on Oct.12 , 2015.

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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

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