So That Lebanon Does Not Face Another Crisis

  • 17 June 2009

After recent parliamentary elections, Lebanese political forces struck a positive tone by unanimously accepting the election results and by favorably responding to the call for a new phase to form a government of national unity. However, in recent times certain indicators threaten to push Lebanon back into the morass of crises, which it had been suffering from for a long time. In this regard, the controversy over the so-called ‘Obstructionist Third’ has resurfaced. It is this provision that gives the opposition the right to object and obstruct government decisions on major issues. However, the ‘majority coalition’ rejects this line of reasoning and believes that the ‘obstructionist-third’ was on meant to be in effect for a limited period which expired at the end of the last legislative elections, and that it was no longer justified as it has no basis in the Constitution or the law. The ‘majority coalition’ has expressed this position on several occasions through its officials.

Thus, Lebanon is facing a difficult situation, wherein it is facing a multitude of challenges against effectively creating a government of national unity that is stable and able to work with a team spirit or at least without dangerous disputes.  Moreover, the ‘obstructionist-third’ is a fundamental obstacle facing the formation of this government and the idea of a national consensus.  It is therefore important to deal with the matter peacefully.

The Lebanese President, Mr. Michel Suleiman, stressed that he himself provides ‘the actual security for the weapons of the resistance’, with reference to Hezobollah’s weapons, which is demanding to gain full sway of the ‘obstructionist-third’ provision to ensure non-interference. It has been suggested that the ‘obstructionist-third’ be handed over to the President of the Republic, or to that the opposition be given assurances on some issues over its fears on some government decisions, as a substitute to the ‘obstructionist third’ provision. This indicates that a solution is always possible if there is openness to new suggestions and ideas.

Political forces should realize the critical situation facing Lebanon and the nature of the challenges it faces does not allow them to enter another phase of wrangling as it would not be in the interest of any party. They have got a great opportunity to build strong foundations for the sake of harmony and political stability that should be availed and national dialogue is the only way for settling problems and disputes of whatever nature or degree of complexity.