Lebanon at a Dangerous Crossroads

  • 22 November 2007

After the postponement of the parliamentary session, which was scheduled to be held yesterday for the election of the president of the Republic, Lebanon finds itself at a dangerous crossroads. The country’s disparate and feuding political parties shall soon decide what road to take, and what fate awaits the future generations of Lebanon. Will the country be a model of coexistence, tolerance, stability, and openness for the Middle East or would it be a country ridden by conflicts, tensions, confusion and even civil war? This is the fourth time that the parliamentary session for the election of a new president of the country has been postponed, with the expiration of the constitutional time limit taking place on September 25, 2007. This is a clear reflection of the differences among various Lebanese parties and factions. If the postponement of the parliamentary sessions was a means to avoid the crisis, one cannot postpone parliamentary sessions further as the constitutional time limit for electing a President of the Republic ends tomorrow. For this reason, the upcoming session would be decisive in determining the future of Lebanon and of the Lebanese people. Everyone should work to make this parliamentary session successful because there may be no other opportunity for overcoming the crisis in the future.

Perhaps, no party wants to drag the country into a crisis, still Lebanese factions have failed to agree on the issue of electing a new president. It is desired, that all Lebanese forces frame their political positions on the basis of national interests, and defend what they feel is best for the future of their country. The time has come for everyone to choose either between perpetuation of their differences that would lead to destruction and conflict and the promotion of the national interests that depend on the emergence of consensus and agreement over the nomination of the country’s next president. The situation does not merit the perpetuation of a conflict over the appointment of right or wrong person. Time is being wasted, and it is important to put an end to the viciousness spreading across the country. Whatever differences and conflicts exist, there is always a way forward for dealing with them and resolving them. There is no conflict that does not have a solution, the only prerequisite for this is a sincere will. The method for the resolution of the crisis is when feuding parties meet each other on  a middle ground. More than at any time in the past, Lebanon today wants its factions to relinquish the rigidity of their respective positions. It is important to think about the future, and to visualize how history will view concerned Lebanese forces of today.

The whole world is aware of the dangerous situation in Lebanon. For this reason, mediation has not stopped. Still, the solution lies with Lebanese factions, as they are solely responsible for their failures.