Three interesting newspaper stories came out during the last few days regarding the next Lebanese president. As usual, they all contradict each other, so it’s up to the blogosphere to make sense out of them.
First, there was Michel Aoun who suggested that the president should be elected by all Lebanese. This got him a lot of criticism because usually the Christians decide on the next president. The president has to be Maronite in
Aoun, however, has always stressed his party does not represent Christians only, but is intended for all Lebanese. Hence his proposal to let all Lebanese decide on the next president. Sounds fair, doesn’t it? Only thing is that I can’t help but thinking that Aoun has a second agenda with his proposal. He must know that he has lost much of his support among Christians ever since he became buddies with the pro-Syrian Hezbollah.
The general who launched the War of Liberation to free
Second, let’s suppose Aoun is sincere when he states that his party is for all Lebanese and not just for Christians only. How does that add up to an article in yesterday’s L’Orient-Le Jour, where Ibrahim Kanaan, the number 2 of Aoun’s party, was quoted: “Comme l’a dit le général Aoun, seulement 16% des chrétiens on pu élire leur représentants.” (Like general Aoun has said, only 16% of the Christians were able to choose their representatives).
Now, that’s interesting. First, Aoun claims he is for all Lebanese and thus the president should be elected by all, then he is quoted by his second man as complaining about the fact that the Christians are unable to choose their representatives. Of course, he will respond that members of parliament are representing only their voters while the president should be above parties and thus can be elected by all Lebanese.
But somehow this argument seems like a stretch. Surely Aoun knows the importance, if only symbolic, of the presidency: many Christians see it as a guarantee of Christian influence in a country increasingly dominated by Muslims.
A third article that didn’t clarify much was appeared yesterday, also in l’Orient-Le Jour. In it, Samir Geagea was quoted as saying that Aoun as president would be possible if certain conditions were met. Wow, arch enemy Geagea is willing to see Aoun become president, now that’s news!
Surely enough, Naharnet had a completely different story, namely Geagea saying on behalf of March 14 that they would never accept Aoun as president. Yup, that’s more like it. It seemed that l’Orient-Le Jour was a bit too optimistic. Geagea went on to say that March 14 will be deciding on the next president and that in fact it has already reached consensus over who it will be.
As usual in