The death of former Lebanese Member of Parliament Elias Skaff, who was Beqaa’s most truly prominent leader, reminds us of our current political reality where there’s lots of talk about the people, but no respect for their choices and no empathy with them regarding their pains and suffering.
Skaff called his political gathering The Popular Bloc. Skaff was close to people and he submitted to their will. He remained influential even after losing his parliamentary seat. He actually thanked his people for standing with him even though he lost the elections - maybe because he was unlucky or because certain alliances contributed to his failure. He thanked people and promised them to resume his public work, hence, he was always present.
Lebanon misses him today especially amid politicians’ denial of citizens’ rights and treatment of the latter like they’re some electoral tool they can use every four years when parliamentary elections are held.
Truth be told, the government has appeared to be greatly incapable of assuming its responsibilities and this has become difficult to overlook.Nayla Tueni
This makes us look at the civil activity we’re currently witnessing in Lebanon. This activity objects to certain governmental practices and over chronic negligence. We disagree with riots and the sabotage of public and private property during these protests - though such acts may happen in many other countries.
However, we should note that the reality of our economy and security is not helped by such activities. It also does not tolerate unknown parties getting involved in these activities and causing the country to deviate off its path. If these livelihood demands are right, then bad behavior may harm them as it subjects them to a polemic which resembles what is currently happening between the authority and the protestors and which also resembles political parties' attempts to exchange blame for the ongoing chaos.
Truth be told, the government has appeared to be greatly incapable of assuming its responsibilities and this has become difficult to overlook. The government is incapable of managing any of its affairs as no president has been elected. This is in addition to the fact that the government is not efficiently functioning and no legislative work is being carried out in parliament.
The trash crisis is worsening as garbage continues to pile up in the streets. Politicians are also exchanging accusations of stealing tens of millions of dollars. All that and no one clarifies any of this or declares the truth to the people. Amid this crisis, protests have attracted more people who have become tired of the politicians’ lies and bickering - which may be futile and which sole purpose may just be to fool people and cause them to believe that everything has been done to reach a solution.
But then what? Are those aware of the gravity of the phase we’re going through? Or have they given up because of their inability to reach solutions, due to their adherence to stances which conflict with the country’s interests? This is a voluntary resignation that may lead us to the unknown. Does anyone realize this?
This article was first published in an-Nahar on Oct.12 , 2015.
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