After having the great event of our priest being ordained a Monseigneur, Qartaba was again bustling with activity to welcome Amin Gemayel to town. He came here to open a local center of the Kataeb party and was also invited to lunch by former MP Fares Soueid.
Now, this blog always prides itself in being independent and transparent. However, a small disclaimer is in order since Brigitte and I are good friends of the Soueids. As such, we were invited to his house for lunch and were given the honor to sit at a table next to Sheikh Amin's table, his son Samy and the other Gemayels. So much for being an independent blogger”, but hey, the food was great and the company even better:-)
Photo 1: The scouts of Qartaba are practising for receiving Sheikh Amin Gemayel
Photo 2: A huge turnout in Qartaba for the arrival of the former president of Lebanon
The Gemayel family is often called the Kennedy’s of
His father has announced this weekend that he will run in the by-elections to succeed his son. Very sad to realize that time has been turned upside down.
According to an earlier rumor, the brother of
The Gemayel’s, however, are stronger than most and here they were in Qartaba, fully supported by their wives and kids. Amin Gemayel gave an emotional speech in which he stressed that his candidacy is not by choice but the result of a brutal murder and that a father should never have to succeed his son.
After that, Fares Soueid also gave a speech and said that the by-elections are not for the Metn alone, but for all of
Put like this, it might turn out to be a good thing for the Kataeb that Michel Aoun’s party is also running in the Metn. More and more, Aoun seems to be in self-destructing mode and he doesn’t shy away from low-blows and mud smearing campaign. For instance, his calling Amin Gemayel the ‘inheritor’ is insulting, especially since it was the killing of Amin’s son that forced him into running again.
Also, the fact alone that he is contesting a seat that became available through tragedy, is something new to the Lebanese political scene. Normally, these seats go uncontested, like what happened with the seat of Gebran Tueni.
Finally, many consider Aoun once again as a divider of the Christian community and for what purpose? So his party can win a seat in an election he considers illegal? Why would he want to participate in illegal activities?
Still, it will be interesting to see how the elections will go. Aoun is taking a big risk with this as he could easily lose with humiliating numbers. If that happens, this will reduce his chances for becoming president even further. He should have taken the high road and have not contested the Metn seat: out of respect for his opponents and to preserve the Christian community.