BEIRUT

Editorial

Time to change tack

File- FPM leader MP Michel Aoun arrives at the Parliament in Beirut, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

Amid the flurry of statements issued by politicians from across the spectrum, only one conclusion has been certain: that many of these positions have been little more than subtle ways to evade taking a position at all.

If a new president is ever going to be elected in Lebanon, all politicians need to start being open and honest, and actually speaking their mind, rather than cleverly dancing around the issues at hand.

Any keen observer of presidential elections in Lebanon will not be surprised by the current holdups in Parliament, the seemingly never-ending dramas and bickering. That the March 8 bloc has not officially announced its candidate should come as no shock. It is clearly Michel Aoun, but without wanting to throw in their towel too soon, March 8 politicians are holding off on stating this explicitly.

All the while Aoun himself is suggesting that either he becomes president, or no one else does, but really, who can blame him? March 8, by failing to be honest, has given him their tacit support, and has implied he has their full backing, when that may not be the case, at least not for all factions in the bloc.

In the event that Parliament fails to pick a “consensus” candidate, because of Aoun and March 8’s intransigence, this will be yet another tragic testament to the weakness of the system, and the undemocratic nature of elections across the board.

It would be preferable for Aoun to reconsider his tactics and strategy without dogma, and with an open mind, and to embrace the country’s needs and priorities, rather than lead it to further paralysis.

The Lebanese are still hoping for a miracle, for it is the season of miracles: that Aoun will wake up soon and smell the coffee.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 22, 2014, on page 7.

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Summary

Amid the flurry of statements issued by politicians from across the spectrum, only one conclusion has been certain: that many of these positions have been little more than subtle ways to evade taking a position at all.

It is clearly Michel Aoun, but without wanting to throw in their towel too soon, March 8 politicians are holding off on stating this explicitly.

It would be preferable for Aoun to reconsider his tactics and strategy without dogma, and with an open mind, and to embrace the country's needs and priorities, rather than lead it to further paralysis.


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