A bitter day, a sweet day…this is the way I described how Lebanon makes me feel last month. Today, it’s a sweet day, news of a positive outcome ensuing from the five-hour long Cabinet meeting. The Cabinet decided on a number of important and pertinent issues, as promised in their Policy Statement.
First, establishing the National Commission that will look into devising a modern and fair electoral system in the country. The likes of Dr. Nawaf Salam, Paul Salem, and Ziad Baroud are among the members of the commission and it is headed by political veteran, former Minister Fouad Butros (whom PM Seniora nominated for the position of Foreign Minister initially). If you recall, I wrote once about Dr. Salam’s recent book edited by him entitled: Choices for Lebanon, in which he explains in detail our electoral policy and provides several practical solutions to this policy. He personally advocates for proportional representation.
In addition, the Cabinet passed a resolution which basically allows for the formation of political parties without the prior consent of the Cabinet, as stipulated by a 1993 decree; any party to be formed should get licensed by the Interior Ministry. There is talk now of course of the Free Patriotic Movement and Future Movement turning into official parties.
Security-wise, a plan to integrate the security apparatus under one central direction has been commissioned to the Interior and Defense Ministries. Of course, more issues were tackled, but I focused here on what is of interest.
On another point, the five members of the Constitutional Council who resigned yesterday from their positions claimed that they made this move in fear of being implicated in leading the country towards renewed political strife which they would rather be innocent from. We are seeing for the first time in a long time judicial figures rising to the national unity challenge and putting the national good above all parochial interests. For the first time they kill all attempts by the President (et al.) to resuscitate the tug-of-war between Baabda and the Nijmeh Square/Grand Serail with its majority representatives.
Lastly, it is becoming clearer that the reason for closing the borders after a few days from re-opening them with Seniora’s visit to Damascus is that the Syrian officials were waiting for a certain outcome ensuing from their meeting with Seniora which was not fulfilled, hence the renewed pressure. I mean, a great example was the talk around the Syrian demand to control our media, which our government officials denied claiming that our media is free.
Yesterday, I asked myself to look outside of Lebanon to understand our country’s fate; today, I look inside to gain a renewed sense of confidence that we are moving forward, step-by-step.
"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."