Lebanon is the Main Winner
- 9 June 2009
Lebanon, as a country and as a people, has undoubtedly emerged as the main winner in the parliamentary elections that took place last Sunday, and which raised hopes in the country’s future.
Regardless of who won or excelled in these elections, many encouraging signs on the present and future of Lebanon have become evident. The elections were held in a calm and secure setting, and the few isolated incidents that caused minor tensions did not affect the overall calm. Despite anticipatory tensions preceding the elections, there was an impressive voter turnout—the largest in the history of the country’s elections according to Lebanese Interior Minister Ziad Baroud. It was clearly an expression of the will of the Lebanese people to effectively participate in determining the course of their country’s future and sent a meaningful message to various political forces and movements whose protracted internecine feuds have dragged the country into the vortex of disturbance and instability. In addition, elections were deemed fair as they took place under the supervision of about 2,200 local observers and over 200 foreign observers. There were no cases of violation of electoral norms except for a few issues that are characteristic of most “elections around the world,” according to a foreign observer. Therefore, every party accepted the results, even those who did not get the expected or desired results. Political statements issued by Lebanese forces after the election is a positive sign that highlights a general spirit of participation and agreement. There were no grandiose celebrations by parties in order to avoid sectarian and political feuds that could cause disturbance and send a negative message to the political arena.
These positive developments reflect the richness of Lebanese political experience and the dynamism of “Lebanese model”. It marks the beginning of an important new era in which civil strife is forgotten and the decision is left to the people as they give their mandate through transparent and fair elections. It is very important that all political and religious forces in Lebanon work towards benefiting from this positive atmosphere and the great opportunity it provides in building a strong internal front and for achieving national agreement on all issues that raise disagreements and separation in the near future. Lebanese people have spoken and sent across this very important and meaningful message. The message highlights their will for building a stable, safe, prosperous and strong Lebanon which has institutions, laws and rules that will always be the main reference for all Lebanese people, irrespective of their political, ethnic and religious affiliations and orientations. The important thing now is for this message to reach those addressed.