Adonis Diaries

Oligarchy on the way out in Lebanon

Posted on: November 25, 2010

Oligarchy on the way out in Lebanon

Lebanon has been governed by an oligarchy system since its independence in 1943.

About half a dozen tribal or feudal or religious sect leaders have been manipulating the political landscape and social structure of Lebanon ever since and going on, unabashed.

After the 13 years of civil war, the deputies were rounded up and dispatched to Taif in Saudi Arabia in order to sign up on a revised Constitution that was not a Constitution by any yardstick conforming to sovereign and independent State.  Not a single paragraph detailed or explained how the government would apply the Constitution in times of crisis.

For example, in designating a Prime Minister, the President who was appointed in Doha (Qatar), is to consult with the blocks of deputies and appoint the one who received the most votes.

Questions:

1.  If the President refuses to appoint a Prime Minister according to the majority of the deputies then what happens?  Nothing in the Taif “Constitution” attached a procedure to getting out of that impasse.

2. If the Prime Minister is unable to form a government then what happens?  Nothing in the Taif Constitution mentioned a procedure to overcoming that problem. There is no deadline restricting the designated PM to forming a government!  If the PM forms a government, the President has two weeks to sign.

3. If the President refuses to sign on the proposed government then what happens?  Nothing in the new Constitution broached this difficulty.

4. If the chamber of deputy is unable to function properly then what happen?  Nothing in the Constitution that proposes any kinds of  alternatives.  The deputies get paid for four years over $20,000 per month, excluding all the hundreds of fringe benefits and thousands of privileges to them and the members of their extended family.  No one is legitimate enough to send the deputies home and call for another election.

5. If the government is unable to vote by two-third on critical matters then the entire political and administrative machinery is at standstil,l until a new President is voted in (sorry, agreed upon by foreign States) after a 6-year term.

Currently, the oligarchy has created 76 institutions, supposed to be attached to the different ministries,and directly run by the Prime Minister who is from the Hariri clan.  Consequently, many enterprises held by the Hariri clan have their public contracts renewed automatically with yearly outrageous increases; the unity government tried to get informed on the clauses of the contracts with no responses so far.

Since the signing on the Taif constitution in 1991, Lebanon had to be ruled and regulated by a political consensus among Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the US, the co-signers on the constitution.  Basically, Lebanon is under the de-facto mandated powers of three foreign States, if the Lebanese want to live in peace and security.

Since 1991, the successive government of Lebanon refused or were blocked to present a budget to the chamber of deputy for discussion and amendments.  Lebanon is functioning without a formal budget.  Over $20 billion in foreign aides were not recorded officially in the finance registers; all that money were diverted among the oligarchic leaders and their political and clan parties.

For a year, Lebanon has been “enjoying” a unity national government, including all the major political parties, excepting the Communist party.  For a year now, all political representatives in the government have confirmed that this government failed to agree on a single political or social program that may unify or ease the living conditions of the people; they all agreed that the government has failed in its mission but there is no constitutional recourse to getting this government resign, unless the Prime Minister takes the initiative.

The “opposition” parties, within this unity government, have began discussing the application of serious urgent political decisions before the pronouncement of the International Tribunal on the assassination of Rafiq Hariri.

First, the “opposition” within the government is demanding that the false witnesses in the assassination case be brought to trial in Lebanese court system:  The International Tribunal claimed that it has no mandate judging false witnesses. The false witnesses were created and coached on the story to be told by higher-ups to politically incriminate Syria.

Now, Syria is no longer a suspect but many Lebanese officials were sent to jail without judgement, solely based on the false witnesses sayings.  More than 70% of the Lebanese are convinced that the International Tribunal is politicized by the USA in order to keeping the pressures on the oligarchy leaders to doing its bidding and organizing another civil war.

The opposition deputies have been investigating the financial administration, disbursement of funds, and official records that have never been investigated since 1991 and amazing facts are coming to lights.

1. 50% of the Lebanese are living under the poverty line ;

2.  20% are barely surviving as retailers, corner shop owners, and small agriculture.

3. 15% of the population are public servants and receiving salaries that has been stagnant for over 20 years, while inflation has been running 5% per year:  No wonder that bribing is considered normal by public servants in order to make ends meet.

Anyway, most of the public servants are not qualified in their jobs: They have been appointed by the oligarchy for political check and balance within the political landscape.  10% are making a living as “political consultants” to the oligarchy.  4% of the population are producing something of values, such as in industry and agriculture.

Barely 1% of the population own over 80% of the wealth of the “nation” and they are represented in banking,  insurance companies, monopoly wholesalers (mercantile class) importing everything from overseas.

As long as the Lebanese resistance of Hezbollah is strong, organized, and saving Lebanon from further Israeli incursions then, there is a new spirit of setting things on the right tracks and reaching a fairer reform to the political structure.

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1 Response to "Oligarchy on the way out in Lebanon"

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adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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