A selfish few are weakening the Lebanese state
Some individuals are weakening the state and emptying the presidency of its value
Lebanese members of parliament who attend sessions to elect a president are not equal to other members who intentionally abscond for the sake of obstructing a quorum. The latter members’ permanent, unjustified excuse is that they don’t want to fall into nay traps set by other political parties - i.e. they don’t want to elect someone other than themselves. Change and Reform bloc leader MP Michel Aoun has always seemed to follow the slogan “I or no one else.” If the bloc professes boycotting these sessions in order to push voters to choose between presidential vacuum and Aoun, then it seems Hezbollah has a different agenda as it links the election of a president to regional issues such as the Iranian nuclear program and the Syrian regime.
Lebanese politicians have recently been espousing statements such as “the presidency is the right of he who represents the most of people.” However, this latter statement has not rung true in the past. Former President Michel Suleiman did not have a wide parliamentary bloc and the same applies to former Presidents Elias Hrawi, Elias Sarkis, Suleiman Franjieh and others.
Some individuals are weakening the state and emptying the presidency of its valueNayla Tueni
Prime ministers, for example, have not had strong Sunni backing in the past. Take for example Omar Karami, Najib Mikati, Salim al-Hoss, Rashid al-Solh and others. Parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri is not the strongest when it comes to Shiite backing and the same applies to former speaker Hussein al-Husseini. All these examples prove this supposed “right” does not exist.
When individuals who represent a large group of people assume high-ranking posts, a real majority is produced. Such was the case with Saad Hariri whose government was toppled despite its wide representation. This majority was sometimes a result of consensus within a certain sect, like the case is with the Hezbollah-Amal consensus. This, however, does not apply to the Christians who are divided. I hope they agree one day and embarrass all their partners in the country and thus test their real power and its efficiency. Since the majority does not belong to any one individual and since there is no agreement among them, they are weakening the state and emptying the presidency of its value and thus turning into tools to serve the aims of others.
This article was first published in al-Nahar on November 27, 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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