BEIRUT: Secretary-General of the Lebanese Communist Party Khaled Hadadeh announced Wednesday that the party would hold its 11th national conference in October to elect new a new leadership.
“The Central Committee decided to convene it [the conference] on the occasion of the 89th anniversary of the birth of the party, which falls on Oct. 24,” Hadadeh told reporters at the LCP headquarters in Beirut.
The LCP failed to hold its conference as scheduled earlier this month because of internal problems and insufficient preparation, according to observers and sources inside the party.
Hadadeh said this year’s conference was of “exceptional importance,” given the situation in Lebanon and the upheaval in the Arab world.
“This requires a difficult but a necessary mission, which is to revive the party and energize its role on the intellectual, political and organizational levels so that it affirms its role in the heart of the Arab left’s struggle,” he said.
“Preparations for the 11th national conference of our party will begin March 1, with a critical discussion of the party’s role over the past years as well as its political plan and organizational structure,” he said.
Hadadeh said he would not run for the party’s top post, as the LCP’s bylaws stipulate that the secretary-general can only run for the same position twice.
He accused “sectarian” political groups in Lebanon of exposing the country to the Syrian crisis, while criticizing the government’s policy of disassociation as an “empty slogan.”
Commenting on tension in the Bekaa Valley town of Arsal, where two Army soldiers lost their lives on Feb. 1 in an ambush after pursuing a wanted man, Hadadeh called for a two-step solution to the issue.
The LCP leader urged the government to take a clear political decision to protect the Army in Arsal and other areas that witness similar incidents.
Hadadeh added that the residents of Arsal should be “assisted” so that they hand over any wanted individuals to the authorities.
He said that Arsal and the Army had fallen victim to the government’s “policy of deprivation” and that the Cabinet was seeking the approval of all powerful groups before asking the Army to act decisively.
Commenting on the debate over the electoral law, Hadadeh said the only legislation that would protect Lebanon from collapse and help transform the political system would be one with no sectarian allocation of seats, conducted in accordance with proportional representation and with the entire country as a single district.
Hadadeh added that the law should give women a temporary female quota of 30 percent of seats and lower the voting age from 21 to 18.
Hadadeh also slammed the government for not meeting the demands of the Union Coordination Committee to refer a long-awaited salary raise to the Parliament, adding that his party supported the open-ended strike which the UCC has scheduled for Feb. 19.