Lebanon: Upcoming Presidential Elections

Recent blog posts about the upcoming presidential election in Lebanon reflect the feeling of apathy and mistrust towards politics and politicians currently spreading around the country. You have posts ranging from questioning the actions of the leaders to posts questioning whether they really are the leaders. Anyway, expect more on this subject during the coming weeks, since the elections are expected to be held before October 24.

When the Lebanese MPs convened for their first session of presidential elections, their total number in the parliament building was 91. The number needed for a two third quorum is 86, but since only 76 of them actually entered the assembly hall, the election was postponed for more than three weeks during which negotiations for a compromise president is expected. The Inner Circle, who mentions these numbers, also quotes a 25 year old engineer in the Gemmayze entertainment area of Beirut as saying: “They’ll sort it out. They’re just playing around. Everyone is fed up. Each side wants to show it’s stronger so they’ll just keep delaying to the last minute.”

Jeha's Nail starts off an article by writing how the Lebanese so often get lost in the debates of who did what and to whom while their politician and innocent bystanders get blown up with “morbid regularity”. Jeha continues and describes how the “survivors are quietly holed up in the Phoenicia, waiting to meet again in another (useless) parliamentary meeting, while their bosses negotiate (fruitlessly) to get out of the impasse.” And like many others Jeha would like to be spared from “trying to understand the idiotic dialog of the puppets who claim to rule us [Lebanese]…”

Beirut Spring points out how every time the U.S. Bush’s administration shows its support for a candidate, in any free elections in the Middle East, that candidate loses. Then he moves on to question the wisdom of Saad Hariri’s forthcoming visit and meeting with President Bush in the United States. Hariri, the head of the largest parliamentary bloc, is expected to discuss the upcoming presidential elections with President Bush during their meeting.

Blacksmith of Lebanon is on “analysis strike”. Nevertheless, he reports on the eligibility of some prospective candidates to the presidential elections. He explains why, according to the constitution, it may not be possible for some of them to run. He ends his post by describing the latest convening of the parliament to elect a president as kicking off the electoral process but accomplishing nothing.

Abu Kais discusses the contradictions involved in negotiating a compromise presidential candidate. He also details, according to his analysis, the positions of the different parties involved in these negotiations. Especially those of the of the March 14 bloc and the opposition bloc. He concludes that although the age of immaculate conceptions is over but then he (sarcastically) wishes them [the negotiating parties] good luck.

Riemer Brouwer suggests that in the next elections every Lebanese should vote for a candidate with a different religion than that of the voter. This, according to Riemer, is supposed to bring a reduction in tensions and an increase in communications across the sectarian and religious divides in Lebanon. Although this suggestion has to do with the election of members of parliament, it is still of interest since it is the elected parliament that will eventually elect the president of the nation.

2 comments

  • Moussa,

    You have completely mischaracterized my post’s position. My post argues against Hassan Fattah’s piece, not with it, and I don’t “question” Hariri’s visit to washington, to the contrary, i said: “[Hariri’s honesty] is a refreshing change from the hypocrisy of the Middle Eastern ways.

    Next time, read the entire thing ;)

  • Mustapha,

    –Thanks for the explanation.
    –Maybe the confusion was from statements in your post like “The young and inexperienced Mr. Hariri could be naive (being a neocon in a post-neocon era). But perhaps he is on to something…” and “It is a risky position for Mr. Hariri, but it is a refreshing change from the hypocrisy of the Middle Eastern…”
    –Perhaps I should have used “quotes” instead of “points out”
    –I read the whole article twice before linking to it and this is the third time.
    –At any cost the link to your post is there and readers are advised to check always read the original :-)

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