Lebanese parliament: The blocked horizon

Nayla Tueni

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Fellow MPs headed to parliament today to carry out a delusive performance to be held accountable by those who voted for them. All of these deputies are aware that they will not achieve anything at all. The parliamentary sub-committee failed in achieving a minimal agreement despite the hopes it tried to spread among people few days ago.

Currently, there is no majority in parliament. The March 14 coalition is no longer a majority without MP Walid Jumblatt and without the National Struggle Front bloc MPs. The March 8 coalition was no more than a fake majority thanks to Jumblatt’s support which helped it form a new cabinet.

The current governmental majority erodes daily. It did not even withstand while confronting the violent winds of electoral law discussions. Even the draft law submitted by the cabinet was not defended by any of the ministers.

‘Orthodox Gathering’

The Christians apparently agree on an electoral draft law. However on the realistic level, they disagree. They have a permanent longing for divisions during crises and normal circumstances. They continue to agree with the “Orthodox gathering” proposal for the sake of embarrassing one another.

The Muslims currently live the deepest division in their modern history. Their agreement on an electoral law is almost impossible because it is not locally reached as it has regional extensions that at the mean time will not be resolved.

So what are the Lebanese betting on today at parliament?

As a deputy and a citizen, I do not have an answer other than let’s wait to see how suspended issues will be resolved. Speaker Nabih Berri promised that he will not go on with the process to vote on a electoral draft law if there is no consensus among the Lebanese and if a particular sect rejects it because the matter is linked to the national charter and he cannot resolve the Christian complain of lack of representation by transforming it into another sect. Therefore, the problem will continue, and it will be more difficult because the threat of the Sunni-Shiite dispute lies - may God forbid – in the possibility of transforming into strife that knows no borders and that has no limitations for its end.

Amid the current divisions and the tense stances, it seems that the horizon for holding elections is blocked unless a miracle happens or unless I really want to inflict strife. The situation was foggy like this before 1975. So will anyone learn lessons from the previous phase?

This article was first published in the Lebanon-based Annahar on Feb. 18, 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

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