Adonis Diaries

Rainbow over the Levant (fiction, continue)

Posted on: October 19, 2008

A President for the Levant

The First Emir decided that it was time to adopt a written Constitution and elect a President for the Levant Nation to give a particular character of independence and self determination for the Levant.  The first draft of the Constitution suggested by Gergis three years ago was dusted off and restudied with a sense of urgency.  It was slightly modified because the First Emir refused any abridgement on his executive powers and a negotiated draft was accepted that allowed the current Chief to maintain his full executive authority for the first five years as an interim period and the drastic language for change was toned down.  One article in the Constitution was added concerning the electoral system which insisted that the candidates should be able to read and write in the language of the land which was agreed to be the Arabic language. This article was intended to affirm the Arabic characteristic of the new Republic and to bring in new blood with potential to learn and understand the changing social and political structures. Thus, every candidate was submitted to the test of reading, listening to the petition of a citizen and transcribing the petition in correct and legible hand writing.

The modified and adopted Constitution had a prime objective to unify the new country with decentralized administrations that would cater to the immediate and routine needs of the population.  This expanded Nation was officially named The Republic of the Levant and Antoun was unanimously elected as its first President for a ten-year term. His countrymen still called him Chief Emir or First Emir among the Emirs but the foreign dignitaries called him The Grand Emir for a while until the titled “Your Honorable President” became more common and accepted by the foreign delegates.

The President was reluctant to impose his opinions during the meeting of the government members and ruled that any vote on any article that exceeded the majority by 2 members would pass.  He however retained the right for the President to veto any article that he deemed harmful to the unity of the nation until discussions with various parties were undertaken but he scarcely had need to veto any resolution.

Many old timers were removed from their responsibilities and younger officers were promoted.  Discipline in the army and internal security forces was rigorously pursued and the spirit of the army of the people was rekindled.

The President of the Republic grabbed this opportunity to direct a few of these alleged charges against potential foes who grew popular and gathered strength regardless of their adherence to the political lines.  Although the President still enjoyed leadership under the Constitutional mandate he secretly harbored a desire for his elder son to succeed him in due time with minimal opposition.  Another serious reason to suspend the authority of some of his closer counselors was that the President felt a wind of extremism sweeping the Levantine citizens and feared for them to pay an extreme price. To that end, the President sent Gergis to Europe as his ambassador to drum up some financial and maritime support and expedited Mustafa to North Africa to manage the trading ports and possibly foment rebellions against the Mameluks and eventually raise an army to threaten Egypt from the West. 

It was well known that those who achieve the most commit the most mistakes, so Gergis and Mustafa, being no dupes nor naïve in politics, realized that at this junction they were more of a liability to the President because they would be the prime targets for mismanagement and financial mishandling innuendoes. The rationale for relieving them from duty in the central government was essentially valid under the pressure of the better learned and excited new generation of service officers. The President had now to rely on the second generation of counselors with the exception of Mariam who was effectively leading the reform movement and was no help in restraining the spirit of the Nation toward dialogue and unity on the basis of diversity in freedom of beliefs and liberty of choices.

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October 2008

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