Lebanese, ‘free your mind’ in municipal elections
It seems the Lebanese people are working toward making the municipal elections resemble those for parliament...
Many people consider that the Lebanese parliamentary elections are mostly a result of alliances and agreements. It seems the Lebanese people are working toward making the municipal elections resemble those for parliament, as they are handing themselves over to parties that agree on dividing shares among each other.
Some parties and influential figures do not allow people their freedom to choose, so people get excited over a certain municipal list and elect it. However, they end up regretting their choice when they realize their representatives are inefficient, but by then their criticisms are too late. Meanwhile, some people have lost hope and thus abstain from voting.
Parliamentary elections are different from municipal elections because MPs’ role is not to perform daily services or follow up on paperwork in government departments, but to legislate and monitor government performance, though performing these tasks has been difficult lately.
Municipal elections will soon be held in Lebanon. It is a chance to begin achieving some sort of change and liberating us from past mistakesNayla Tueni
Municipality members are tasked with developmental projects and looking after local services. What people need is a developed vision regarding municipal life. Municipalities must submit to the public their agendas and programs for the next six years. They must work to support clubs and associations within their areas of work, and encourage them to get involved in municipal work.
They should also work with schools and universities to raise awareness about their development work. Their work on the commercial and educational levels must thus be accompanied by interacting with society and closely working with it.
Municipal elections will soon be held in Lebanon. It is a chance to begin achieving some sort of change and liberating us from past mistakes. The “Free Your Mind” campaign that an-Nahar newspaper launched does not aim to stage a coup or revolution, or end sectarianism. It is a call for parties, sects and families to nominate the most capable and creative figure from among them.
Then it will be possible to launch a process of change and development, and help society progress without competing over insignificant and silly victories. The priority is people’s interest, and it must be preserved.
This article was first published in an-Nahar on Apr. 11, 2016.
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