Lebanon’s March 14, here are our demands

Making concessions is necessary for Lebanon's interest, not just for the interest of the two parties in dispute

Nayla Tueni

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Lebanese Member of Parliament Mohammad Raad said this week: "We don't want to discuss the content and terms of a ministerial statement now because we have convictions that (will never) be shaken. Perhaps (the other) party wants to insist on its convictions and want to raise them while discussing the ministerial statement."

I don't know if this statement is a frank and clear answer rejecting March 14's demand to agree on the content of a ministerial statement before finalizing the cabinet formation.

March 14 has specifically demanded that the ministerial statement include the principles of the Baabda Declaration instead of the famous formula of "army, people, resistance" which has been reluctantly adopted.

The sovereign party must clearly, and not during closed-door meetings, announce: "These are our demands and we are awaiting your answer."

Nayla Tueni

It is as if resistance doesn't come from people or as if it's tantamount to the national army on the level of war decisions. We have repeatedly experienced the bitterness of these decisions when the resistance has involved the entire country in a war which the only result was achieving settlements during major players' negotiations.

The "army, people, resistance" formula is from the past and it should stay there. It will be rejected by a huge segment of the Lebanese people who welcome resisting Israel but reject any party's confiscation of the state decisions.

Crucial concenssions

Making concessions without "losing our strategy and choice" makes one laugh because Hezbollah's limited concessions must be met with the other party making another type of concession - otherwise, there will be deliberate obstruction here.

I don't know how the March 14 party accepted that the ball be thrown in its court, thus making the process of forming a new cabinet look like it's March 14's problem while the other party appears to have completed its mission and is now awaiting March 14's final answer and initiative. It's an excellent media game.

Making concessions is necessary for Lebanon's interest - not for the interest of the two parties in dispute but for the entire country.

They must reflect all parties and all Lebanese citizens. It's unfair for concessions to be made by one party and the sovereign party must clearly, and not during closed-door meetings, announce: "These are our demands and we are awaiting your answer." It's only then can the cabinet can see the light.

This article was first published in al-Nahar on Jan. 20, 2014.


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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