Lebanon is damned by a bunch of officials
Lebanese people have defied all invaders, resisted occupiers and confronted economic collapse
Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) leader Gebran Bassil last week said anyone trying to uproot the party from the cabinet by holding a session against the national pact is damned. “Damned is anyone who tries to uproot us from parliament through an electoral law that violates the national pact,” he said.
“Damned is anyone who tries to uproot us from the presidency to bring a president whose election violates the national pact. Anyone who tries to uproot us from our land is damned by God.” Minister Alice Chabtini replied that he who does not allow the election of a president is damned. Both are right, but those who are totally right are Lebanese citizens, who have suffered for some time.
Their daily lives are harmed by the quarrels of irresponsible officials, who are occupied with their own causes, interests, ambitions and calculations of foreign parties. Lebanon is damned by these officials. The real curse, however, must befall those leaders who wrongly use their representation of people and do not seek to serve the public.
Lebanon has been plagued by rulers, from the remnants of militias, who want to legitimize their militant activity within the official frameworkNayla Tueni
Is he who obstructs electing a president not damned? Is he who obstructs parliamentary and governmental roles in serving the public not damned? Is he who opens Lebanon’s borders to strangers not damned? Is he who involves us in others’ wars not damned?
Is he who allows garbage to pile up on the streets, harming citizens’ health, not damned? Is he who allows the pollution of underground water by toxic waste, landfills or quarries not damned? Is he who violates the use of public property and encourages corruption not damned?
Lebanon has been plagued by rulers, from the remnants of militias, who do not consider the concept of state and institutions, but want to legitimize their militant activity within the official framework. Many Lebanese have achieved distinguished success inside and outside the country. The Lebanese people have survived the most difficult circumstances, defied all invaders, resisted occupiers and confronted economic collapse.
Sense of responsibility
The diaspora has gained the significance it deserves. The Lebanese people do not deserve to be punished in their own country, and current political practices that are based on maliciousness must not push them toward humiliation and disgrace. The people deserve to have officials who are up to the responsibility.
However, it is the people’s responsibility to elect those with a good reputation to represent them well, so they do not blackmail, bribe, intimidate or mobilize them in a sectarian manner. By doing so, they will avoid bringing the same people to parliament, and will not repeat their past mistakes and just resume complaining forever as state institutions continue to be harmed and the country continues to be sabotaged.
This article was first published in an-Nahar on Aug. 29, 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