Taif: A ball everyone kicks into the other’s court

During last week’s national dialogue session in Lebanon, participants discussed aspects of the Taif Agreement that have not been implemented, including the establishment of a senate, which attendants suddenly realized was a national need. However, this is not clear to most Lebanese.

Can anyone convince us of the use of a senate now that we are convinced there is no need for a president, and that the country can go on with an incapable government and paralyzed parliament?

We all support the Taif Agreement. It was signed more than 25 years ago, but it has not been fully implemented, and what has been implemented has not been done properly. Syria helped develop the agreement, but it obstructed its implementation during its tutelage over Lebanon.

This tutelage ended in 2005, and ever since we have appeared incapable of progressing a single step, especially since one party has assumed the role of that tutelage. It wants us to fail in order to serve its aim of changing the system.

The Taif Agreement should not be a ball that everyone kicks into the other party’s court and exploits whenever they want to distract the Lebanese people from more important affairs

Nayla Tueni

Implementation and reform

Adherence to the Taif Agreement means implementing it. This requires explaining some of its points. To avoid confusion, these points must be explained by those guarding the agreement, particularly those who participated in formulating it. We should begin implementing it before discussing how to amend it, so that change is achieved smoothly. Change becomes a problem during unordinary circumstances and an imbalance of power.

The Taif Agreement includes an item on administrative decentralization - this seems easiest to implement, but it has not been implemented. The agreement also talks of reconsidering administrative provinces, and of a council of ministers. The senate is thus part of a comprehensive series of reforms.

The Taif Agreement should not be a ball that everyone kicks into the other party’s court and exploits whenever they want to distract the Lebanese people from more important affairs. Let us first elect a president. Let there be cooperation with him on workshops that lead to reform, instead of destroying the bases of the state and establishing a sectarian senate. This waste of time is shameful when everyone knows there are more urgent affairs to finalize.

This article was first published in an-Nahar on Aug. 8, 2016.
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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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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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