Michel Aoun: A genuine reformer
by Ghaleb Kandil on 28 Feb 2013 0 Comment

The position of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) leader, General Michel Aoun, on the electoral law, has been the target of a smear campaign in order to distort it. While since he was in command of the army until he became a major political leader, he always displayed his opposition to sectarianism.


From the start of the debate on the electoral law, General Aoun was in favor of a single electoral district in Lebanon, coupled with proportional voting. Which gives equal opportunities to all political parties to be fairly represented, and puts an end to the monopoly exercised by certain political currents within religious communities.


The support to the Orthodox project (which provides that each community elects its own MPs) was dictated by the refusal of the proportional voting mode by the Future Movement (FM) and the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), as well as individuals whose political existence depends exclusively on electoral laws adopted for nearly 20 years. The leader of the FPM has supported the Orthodox project that introduces the proportional voting mode and transforms Lebanon in a unique electoral district for just once, to elect a Parliament acting as a Constituent Assembly, that should be able to deeply reform the system, including a revision of the Constitution. The representative character of such a Parliament, composed of genuine representatives of all communities, cannot be questioned.


The Orthodox project allows opponents within each community – who were completely marginalized by majority voting -, to be represented. As well he frees Christians’ seats from the hegemony of other communities. This project gives each party its real weight in the communities, since the Lebanese system is anyway a confessional one.


To replace the Orthodox Project, which is rejected by the FM and PSP, General Aoun proposes the adoption of the proportional voting mode in a unique electoral district in Lebanon, which is a progressive formula helping to develop a true national partnership between the political parties of different communities.


Michel Aoun has always defended a reform project in the face of traditional politicians that are attached to power for personal interests, as shown by the revelations made in his book IMPOSSIBLE ACQUITTAL, which reveals how the country's resources were plundered for 20 years by this political class.




Kelly tour and American procrastination


While Secretary of State John Kerry begins an international tour focused on the situation in Syria, Russia increases its critics towards the ambiguous attitude and political double standards exerted by the United States. Yet Washington had initiated signals showing a change in policy, mainly illustrated by the decision of President Barack Obama to replace the hawkish trio composed of Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta and David Petraeus.


On the diplomatic front, the Americans multiply statements about the need to find a solution to the Syrian crisis on the basis of the Geneva Agreement, and in the same time they try to render that agreement meaningless by arbitrarily interpreting some of its clauses. They multiply warnings about the danger posed by the qaïdiste al-Nosra Front, but at the same time they continue to lead the war against Syria by supporting terrorist groups, as if nothing had changed in this crisis.


All field data show that the United States continues its war against Syria along with their Western partners, Turkish and Arab auxiliaries. Turks and Qataris continue to provide material, logistics, finance, media and political support to the terrorists, with the active help of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.


The only realistic solution to the Syrian problem is the plan proposed on January 6 by President Bashar al-Assad. But this plan is conditioned by the implementation of mechanisms for stopping the violence that can only be achieved by draining financing sources of terrorist, stopping shipments of weapons and ammunition and the closure of training camps installed in Turkey. Also it is necessary to dismantle the networks of recruitment and transport of terrorists worldwide in Syria.


Despite their ambiguous actions, the Americans sent signals that constitute an admission of the failure of their initial objective which was to overthrow the regime of President Assad. They conceded that the dialogue with the Syrian head of state is the only way that could lead to a solution of the crisis. This does not prevent them from maneuvering in an attempt to improve their conditions in for negotiations.


The anger expressed by Russia to face all this procrastination shows once again that only the developments on the ground will be able to break the deadlock. It is therefore the Syrian Arab Army that will have the last word.


The author is a journalist

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