Michel Aoun’s proposal on reforming the method by which the president is elected is indicative of his absolute disregard for the stability of the country and his preoccupation with his own power.
Aoun’s bloc has proposed a draft law to do away with presidential elections in Parliament and instead allow Christians to choose two candidates who would then face off in a vote by the entire electorate.
In any functioning democracy, MPs from parties across the board should be allowed the opportunity to suggest reforms on a number of various topics. But in the current climate, with Lebanon at one of its most sensitive junctures in perhaps decades, to suggest such a reform is irresponsible.
The Taif Accord which closed the Civil War and drew up a power-sharing agreement came at the cost of nearly 200,000 lives and years of war. Of course not all parties were completely satisfied with the details of the agreement, but such is compromise. To rock the boat now screams of self-interest and is clearly not in the interests of the country.
Aoun’s unspoken ultimatum is clearly, “myself as president or no one else.” Such behavior is not befitting of a statesman or a nationalist – it is the act of an opportunist.
The proposal has already been slammed by the March 14 coalition and has absolutely no chance of ever passing in Parliament. Indeed, Aoun knew all along that it would be shot down – suggesting that the proposal itself was just another way to obstruct efforts to fill political vacuums in the country.
Politics is clearly little more than a game to Aoun now, but it is more than that to the rest of the country, ordinary people who want to get on with their lives. It is about time some politicians realized where their priorities should lie.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 23, 2014, on page 7.