Lebanon still suffers from a presidential vacuum as it marks its 72nd Independence Day this week. The country is like an old man no longer capable of keeping up with ordinary life. State institutions’ work is almost at a standstill, there has been no president since 2014, the government is paralyzed, and parliament only convenes when necessary. Meanwhile, people suffer as problems such as the trash crisis remain unsolved.
Dialogue has failed to agree on how to constitutionally run state affairs. Instead, politicians argue over an electoral law and the Syrian crisis. Electing a president will not protect us from terrorism, but it will reflect a domestic consensus and garner foreign support. This is what Lebanon needs to confront difficulties regarding security, the economy and society.
Electing a president restores regularity to the work of institutions that have lost citizens’ trust.Nayla Tueni
Electing a president restores regularity to the work of institutions that have lost citizens’ trust. The cabinet has failed to resolve the trash crisis due to sectarian divisions. Political bickering and pre-conditions continue. One party names a candidate, another vetoes him.
It is all a waste of time, and a violation of the constitution as long as someone obstructs electing a president and boycotts parliamentary sessions on the matter. It is a violation of the independence achieved by our grandparents, who were wiser, more patriotic, and less loyal to foreign parties.
Parties need to stop throwing the ball in each other’s court in an attempt to achieve populist victories. The collapse of the country will hurt everyone.
This article was first published in an-Nahar on Nov. 20 , 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
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