Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Why Lahoud should resign | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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I see no valid reason for Lebanese President Emile Lahoud remaining in office. Given the national consensus against his rule, he ought to resign, as he knows his ascension to power was due to Syrian pressure and not local decision.

Looking back at recent events, in light of the arrests of the security chiefs who were accountable to the President during the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Samir Qassir, and George Hawi amongst others, as well as the series of explosions that shook the country, Lahoud should immediately step down. The President should be held politically responsible for the tragic events that endangered the whole country, killed its intellectuals and threatened the return of the dark days of the civil war!

His insistence on holding on to power is an example of a wider and seemingly incurable Arab disease whilst the absence of political responsibility is part of an old tradition. Denying wrongdoing or refusing to admit mistakes is part and parcel of the Arab political mind which remains inflexible until the bitter end when it offers more compromises that were ever needed in the first place. Leaders have sometimes abruptly changed from rejection to total surrender and acceptance at once.

For decades, attempts to convince Colonel Muammar Gadhafi to reach an agreement with the West failed one after the other as the Libyan leader reiterated his opposition to imperialism. Suddenly, he completely changed positions and surrendered his arms and his documents to the United States. Before him, Saddam Hussein refused to allow weapons inspectors into Iraq or withdraw his troops from Kuwait. The Iraqi Minister of Information, Mohammad Said al Sahaf, continued to speak of the impending defeat of the aggressors until the world awoke to find Saddam in a ditch!

Comparing the Lebanese President to the former Iraqi dictator or Colonel Gadhafi is misleading since Lebanon is a parliamentary democracy governed by a constitution. This is why Lahoud ought to resign immediately.