Lebanon's humble aspirations for its new cabinet
The cabinet, no matter how new or old, must protect citizens and help them restore confidence in the country’s institutions
So you've fulfilled your “historical” achievement and a government was formed. And here we are, welcoming it and cheering for it. But not because we are convinced that it has any remarkable characteristics.
While we do appreciate ministers among it who are worthy of gratitude, the real reason welcome it is because, like the rest of the Lebanese people, we believe in legitimacy of the state, constitutional order, and the regulation of institutions.
We will no longer drown in the futile controversy over who won and who lost as this only yields further useless gossip.
In the end, it's an inevitable settlement like all other political compromises which the Lebanese have become used to. It has yielded reactions similar to those that accompanied the birth of Tammam Salam's cabinet; happiness and frustration at the same time.
Getting back on track
What specifically concerns us now is that this cabinet proves that it's the body of the entirety of Lebanon and that it's a legitimate tool that firstly achieves the interests of the country and its people.
The cabinet, no matter how new or old, must protect citizens and help them restore confidence in the country’s institutions. It can do so by proving how its March 8, March 14 and centrist ministers can work together to thwart threats resulting from the Syrian war and the involvement of some Lebanese parties.
What is important to us is that the new ministers represent the entire spectrum of Lebanese people and not one specific party or sect.
What is important is that this cabinet will eliminate that hideous characteristic in of ministers pursuing goals that only benefit themselves or their sect. We dream of witnessing an experience that eliminates the concept of parasitic, corrupt politicians, or "cheese eaters," as former president Fouad Chehab described them.
Optimism for modest progress
Perhaps you know better than us that the Lebanese people have lost hope in a transparent, sovereign and independent authority. Perhaps you know better than everyone else that the image of the current political class has never reached this extent of regression and gloom.
Lebanon's people tolerated and continue to tolerate all the country's misfortunes and have been more patient than any other people in the world. It's thus their right to dream of change - even of a limited change - that begins with this government which is said to be the first step in altering its gloomy predicament.
This is also our first step in preparing for the presidential elections and putting an end to tampering with institutions and their regularities.
These are not big dreams. They are humble aspirations. All we're saying is let this government be the one that respects the constitution and addresses the miseries, pains and crises of the Lebanese people. Is this possible?
This article was first published in al-Nahar on Feb. 17, 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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