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Lebanon: The Crisis Continues - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Poor Lebanese constitution; every political leader in Lebanon is claiming to have complete and exclusive knowledge and understanding of it and that he is the only one capable of grasping its content and aims. Today, the “tedious” and endless conflict over the agreed choice of the “expected” Lebanese presidential candidate (which was settled a long time ago), General Michel Suleiman, is still imprisoned by futile disputes that divert the attention of Arab politicians and nations away from more important and serious issues.

Meanwhile, the Arab and international communities continue to be entrapped by fruitless Lebanese political activity in which the participating parties cannot be quelled amidst ambitions and interests that are replete with egotism.

What has been conspicuous over the recent period was the declining performance of the Lebanese parliament (that has not convened in the first place!) since the parliament speaker decided to end the session. In fact, comparing the Lebanese parliament’s performance during its current crisis to the Kuwaiti parliament’s performance following the death of the country’s ruler reveals that the latter acted wisely, responsibly and professionally dealt with the crisis of succession in an advanced constitutional manner that symbolized the return of political stability to the country following a difficult and tumultuous period.

The blatant intentions and aims to prolong the constitutional presidential vacuum in Lebanon are no longer concealed from anyone, as there is a group that wants to achieve democracy without internecine siding, so long as the constitution takes into consideration the real demographic status of the country, which is naturally reflected in constitutional amendments in a grave manner.

However, there is another party that believes that only one person truly deserves the presidential post regardless of the circumstances and reasons and is not against the appointment of an interim president for two years before the post is assigned to the figure most worthy of it  even if this causes further aggravation and conflict to the situation.

Today, Lebanese political “Maronitism” is put to the test whereby it is gradually losing its historical role and capability of achieving a political settlement in light of the absence of real political leaders. This lack takes away from its spiritual role and spiritual leadership, in addition to its attempt to escape the political equation, which is being made by one of the political Maronite parties itself.

Throughout history the Lebanese have never nominated a president that was consensually agreed upon in the true sense of the word, except for General Emile Lahoud during his first presidential term. However, it was a term that was marred by problems, divisions and political assassinations.

Currently, the Lebanese issue is taking up a significant amount of interest and observation and that is unacceptable since there are more serious and important decisive matters in the Arab region. It is shameful and disgraceful that the Lebanese contest (that has remained unchanged for many decades) still occupies the headlines and is the subject of analyses in a disagreeable, controversial and absurd manner.

In fact, the solution to the Lebanese dilemma lies in the hands of the Lebanese themselves. If they are not capable of solving it, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Somalia and others are real examples of what could happen to the country when obstinacy, selfishness and time wasting continue to thrive to the extent where it has become costly  and they are no longer the only ones to pay the price for it.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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