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الخميس، 27 يونيو 2013

Business as usual

Business as usual 
A civil society protester tries to remove barbed wire while wearing a Turkish flag during a demonstration protesting the extension of parliament’s mandate, near Parliament in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, June 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
A civil society protester tries to remove barbed wire while wearing a Turkish flag during a demonstration protesting the extension of parliament’s mandate, near Parliament in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, June 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
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The extension of Parliament is a fait accompli, but instead of meeting those on the streets with resistance, the passion of the protesters must be harnessed to ensure these next 17 months actually achieve something for the country, through democratic measures.
It is unnecessary to dwell on Parliament’s failures over the last four years: sadly the evidence is there for everyone to see, whether in the security situation across the country, the lack of tourists on the streets and the hotels and restaurants forced to close.
But what’s done is done and the only way to salvage an already dire situation is if the members of Parliament now work together, and prioritize the interests of the country as a whole over their own or those of their parties or sects.
All the dirty rhetoric and politicking of the last few months – the bickering and squabbling which has, at times, turned Parliament into a playground – must now be forgotten. And if the admirable members of Parliament genuinely are unable to defuse tension in the country, the very least they can do is refrain from contributing to it, and fueling the fire.
The first task must be the creation of a new electoral law, and then steps taken to prepare for elections, and presidential elections. Too often in this country’s past important posts have been left vacant, but at this juncture in time, Lebanon can no longer afford this luxury.
The absence of a fully functioning Cabinet and the flaky parliamentary situation are each affecting each other and impacting on each other. Without one issue being addressed, the other will fester, so the creation of a new government must happen soon too.
In the second half of this last parliamentary term the security crisis in the country has continued to escalate. If the country continues at the rate of the last two years, with new, and increasingly violent incidents every day, Lebanon will fall too far to save.
If there is not a serious effort, an honest effort, by Parliament to address the security situation in the country, and put Lebanese interests above all others, then who knows where Lebanon is headed.
The last decades have shown that Lebanon’s democratic system often fails. While outside actors and governments have often contributed to this, they frequently also help stabilize the situation. With so much of the region currently wrapped up in its own concerns, or those of its neighbors, Lebanon must now work for itself.
This turn of events should not be lamented, but rather it should be seen as a positive opportunity for the country to do its own bidding, to work for its own aims and no one else’s. Members of Parliament, representing their citizens, must now work together to achieve this. The task is not an easy one, but it is the only option.


Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Editorial/2013/Jun-22/221209-business-as-usual.ashx#ixzz2XRDFaOwA
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb) 

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