Lebanon News

Union boss set to take helm of revitalized LCP

UCC head Hanna Gharib speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Wednesday, March 20, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Leading union figure Hanna Gharib is set to assume the leadership of the Lebanese Communist Party Tuesday after his list secured the majority of votes over the weekend, in what supporters see as a revival of the party. Gharib won the majority of seats on the 60-member Central Committee, elected during the LCP’s 11th National Congress.

The congress was finally held over the weekend after a series of postponements.

He faced off with sitting Secretary-General Khaled Hadadeh, whose list won just over a dozen seats.

“First of all, [his] personality enjoys the respect and appreciation of all communists since he led union work, specifically his experience with the Union Coordination Committee,” a source close to the party told The Daily Star, when asked what boosted Gharib’s chances.

Gharib has managed to mobilize teachers and public sector employees across Lebanon behind demands for a pay raise in previous years, reviving union action that had long been dormant.

“He isn’t immersed in the corruption cases that have happened in the party from the ’90s until now; this is what gives him a push. He is also a charismatic person and proved his dedication to party and union work.”

The congress convenes once every four years, during which members of the Central Committee, which has legislative and oversight authority, are elected.

Based on the party’s bylaws, after being elected, the Central Committee elects the executive committee, which is headed by a secretary-general. However, the source said that this arrangement would most likely change Tuesday.

“This time things will change. The Central Committee will elect the secretary-general, and then the secretary-general will specify the politburo members and their number,” the source said.

The reason for the change is to create a more “homogenous” political leadership.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 26, 2016, on page 3.

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