BEIRUT

Editorial

Unbridled ambition

FPM leader Michel Aoun speaks during a news conference in Rabieh, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (The Daily Star/Charbel Nakhoul, HO)

Michel Aoun’s presidential election campaign continues unabated, while Lebanon’s executive and legislative branches of government continue to pay the price.

Aoun might be fully entitled to reject the latest proposal by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri on how to end the country’s crippling political paralysis, but his counter-offer is something out of the realm of science fiction. Instead of trying to reach an acceptable compromise by heading toward middle ground, Aoun is insisting on heading in the direction of the extreme.

Lebanon is experiencing a prolonged period of domestic political turbulence, while violence in the region threatens its delicate social fabric. Aoun has used such a period to put forward the idea of radically amending the Taif Accord by introducing the direct, sectarian election of the president – first by Christians and second by the Lebanese people.

His other proposal, to give priority to parliamentary elections, is just as divorced from reality, since politicians are no closer to agreeing on an election law than in past years. Not even Aoun’s allies support his stances, which only work to paralyze the presidency, the government and the legislature at a time when the country can least afford it.

In short, Hariri has asked for a series of steps to be taken – electing a president, forming a government, holding parliamentary elections, resolving Hezbollah’s dangerous involvement in the Syrian war and confronting the phenomenon of terror in Lebanon. All of these can be achieved under the umbrella of Taif, while Aoun is demanding the impossible – proposing sweeping changes to the Taif Constitution that require broad, if not total, consensus, while perfecting the art of anti-consensus, pure and simple.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 24, 2014, on page 7.

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here