Saturday, December 17, 2005

Salim al Hoss on National Dialogue

The following is a transcript of the last segment of an interview that al Jazeera had with former PM Salim al Hoss. The interview was actually conducted five days ago on the 12th of December. However, I think that it is interesting, worth highlighting and discussing.

ANCHOR: Now there is talk about initiatives for a national dialogue, launched by the Representatives Committee's President Nabih Barri. There is more than one side and you have met more than one personality, political and -- in the past period.

Do you think now, after all, what possibly could come out of the Mehlis report, so that the priority in the coming period will be the national dialogue? Or the opposite. Maybe there will be political segregation and (based) on the international investigation, those who are with the international investigation, or against the international investigation, or with the international court trial, or against the international court, etcetera.

What is the political priority for the Lebanese society?

SALIM AL-HOSS: I, in principle, find it odd to talk about a national dialogue. So what is the role of the recently-elected Representative Council, the President of the Representative Council should be a representative of all the political powers in the country, democratically, the dialogue is going on daily in a natural way. Such is the case in the world's democracies, otherwise, the talk about the necessity for national dialogue from time to time, that implies a condemnation of our system, and insinuates that our system is not democratic.

In all the world's democracies, it happens daily through the constitutional institutions. We have the Representative Council. Why doesn't the dialogue take place in the Representative Council, or through it?

ANCHOR: Pardon, your Excellency, you know very well, you talked about democracies in the world. That's true, the talk about the Representative Council, but you know very well that the Lebanese situation is somewhat different, very different.

Don't you think that after these security violations, after these targetings, this existing political stiffness, all these issues, that the country already needs a national dialogue, whether the representatives inside the Representative Council or outside it, including you, meaning you and your allies outside the Council, and you maybe part of this national dialogue which can be an essential political priority in the coming phase?

SALIM AL-HOSS: Never mind. I am not against the national dialogue, not against the national dialogue, even though the national dialogue disregards the Representative Council. This (argument) can be in place, taking into consideration that I am one of those who say that the current Representative Council does not truly represent the Lebanese people, and that it has been elected on the basis of a law which is known for what it lacks.

ANCHOR: Thank you your Excellency for this contribution, thank you.

Addendum: Stacey has written some interesting comments concerning democracy in Lebanon (specifically, the issue of majority-minority decision making that has become such a hot topic recently).


JoseyWales said...

Raja I read it quickly, I have little patience for Foss.

Did I miss something or is this guy as useless and bland as usual?

Translation please.

Raja said...

what really caught my attention is how Hoss basically said that all this talk about "national dialogue" basically "condemns our system".

for are we not a democracy? why can't national dialogue occur in the parliament under the aegis of the speaker, who ironically is the person calling for "national dialogue"?

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Selim Hosso-diplodocus should remain in the political cemetery he's into. He's prehistory.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

By the way, what was Hoss' stance on Hariri's assassination and the Syrian withdrawal? The guy's so irrelevant that I didn't hear of him for months.

Ghassan said...

Hoss lost it! He is not coherent! Does he have Alzheimer?

Rincevent said...

Vox Populi, your remarks are truly awe-inspiring! Very scientific analysis of Dr. Hoss's comments!

And to make fun of old age, now that is what I call class.

Just because you choose to read sources from one side of the spectrum doesn't mean Dr. Hoss has been silent, but rather shows how monochromatic you are, especially when it comes to news intake.

If you'd bothered to read As-safir you would see plenty of Dr. Hoss's articles AND comments regarding Fasolt's demise (hariri, how much he reminds me of palace-building giants; no compliment there). Just because the paper-with-an-agenda (nahar) chooses to ignore someone doesn't mean they don't exist.

Oh and I'm sure he's deeply wounded by the banality of your insults. I know that Sharp Wit would be hurling herself off a bridge, had she been a real person.

Anonymous said...

you're a stupid joke, even my ass can think better than you.