Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 18th, 2018

Shattering the myths of Lebanese elections

The results of this supposed democratic election go beyond confirming Hezbollah’s hegemony over the Lebanese state.
Sunday 13/05/2018

Following a 9-year electoral hiatus, (the deputies extended their tenure 5 more years) many Lebanese should have been extremely keen to cast votes in the May 6 parliamentary elections — it just seemed so. (At best 40% turnout)

Much of the fuss over this supposedly routine activity was because of a new proportional election law, which, theoretically, offered voters a chance to either dislodge Lebanon’s political elite or challenge their hegemony.

The anticipated excitement never made it as far as Election Day.

Voter turnout was about 45% nationwide (officially), including a measly 34% in Beirut. The results, given revisions to the law and the gerrymandering that went into it, were hardly unexpected.

Most of the traditional political parties retained their share of seats, (particularly the main civil war militia/mafia leaders) although some factions gained seats in districts the previous majoritarian electoral law had barred them from representing.

The main casualty of the election was Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who saw his Future Movement bloc reduced from 33 to 21 seats, as the distinctly underwhelming Sunni turnout allowed Hezbollah and its pro-Syrian Sunni allies to win five seats in Beirut, a traditional Hariri stronghold. (Actually, without major fraud in district of Beirut#2, the Al Moustakbal would have witnessed less seats)

More important, Hezbollah, with its Shia ally the Amal Movement, secured most of the Shia seats in parliament and helped its allies challenge the hegemony of the Future Movement in the Sunni community.

Hariri’s electoral debacle served as a painful reminder of the bargain he struck with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and the consequent abandonment of his father’s legacy he demonstrated by turning his back on traditional allies Samir Geagea and Walid Jumblatt.

(Apparently, many Lebanese authors have Alzheimer syndrome: Samir Geagea was in prison and was Not released by Parliamentary vote until Rafic Hariri assassination. In any case, Rafic never alienated the Syrian regime that brought him to power)

Above all, Hariri and his Future Movement failed to address key grievances of their constituency, which had sent alarming messages in the latest municipal elections by essentially boycotting the vote.

(It seems this is a wide-spread propaganda that “intellectuals” or Talking Heads love to repeat. They want to forget that at least 400,000 Lebanese immigrants in the Gulf failed to show up for voting: sort no one cared to pay for their flying ticket))

In addition to Hezbollah, the other two victorious parties were the Free Patriotic Movement led by Aoun’s son-in-law and Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and the Lebanese Forces.

(Jubran Bassil, head of the Al Tayyar Al Watani secured a block of 29 deputies (as large as Hezbollah and Nabih Berry combined). The Lebanese Forces surpassed expectations with 15 seats, one of which is deep in the heart of Hezbollah-controlled area in eastern Lebanon.

Yet the results of this supposed democratic election go beyond confirming Hezbollah’s hegemony over the Lebanese state. They lay to rest some myths and misconceptions about reforming the archaic Lebanese political system.

Contrary to the expectations of the political factions, which approved this diabolical electoral law, the proportional electoral system was not well received by most of the Lebanese. (Well received after its application?)

For evidence, there is the appalling turnout. Realistically, Lebanese feel uneasy voting for a locked list with one preferential voting option, something that would entail them publicly endorsing one faction over the other. (Sort they prefer to select themselves their candidates and allow more headaches for voters and distribution of alternative lists that are Not official as in “Majority takes All seats”?)

Interestingly, there is something very non-Lebanese about this “proportional new Law”, at least from the perspective of the voters. Most Lebanese who are not affiliated to political factions, either by choice or by tradition, prefer to divide their votes between opposing candidates, allowing them to petition either side for favours as circumstances dictate. Such locked lists require that the parties running present a clear and realistic political and economic platform, something that none of those running May 6 managed to do. (Except Hezbollah who was very clear on the objectives of this campaign: fail the USA/Saudi Kingdom schemes and fighting corruption and spoilage of public fund)

Even if such a political programme existed, it is highly unlikely the Lebanese would even consider it, as they would rather continue voting for their traditional sectarian and tribal leadership, something that the election results confirmed.

Despite the government’s campaign instructing voters how the system worked, 38,909 void ballots — a large number for an election in Lebanon — were cast, suggesting the system was too complex for ordinary electors.

(It was far less complex for voting than the laws since independence, though the selection of winners is, and it is none of the concern for the voters)

Perhaps one of the most important myths that the election shattered was one campaigned on by many independent political activists: that electoral reform was key for political reform.

In reality, the Lebanese electorate chose not to endorse the so-called civil society candidates, who assumed that their active social media profiles were sufficient to get them to parliament, and voted for the status quo instead. (Wrong. The many reforms that the law required was thrown out by the militia leaders in power)

Perhaps it is permissible to spend hours analyzing and looking for reasons to justify the election results. However, what cannot be disputed is that, while they are entitled to celebrate their democratic achievement, the Lebanese have a long way to go before they can call themselves a democracy.

Note: I personally side with the opinion that this law is far advanced than the traditional law and we can built on it.

Gaza killings: Names and faces of those killed by Israeli forces this week


Note 1: Not 62, but 114 killed Palestinians in the 2 days of the Nakba marches, and many are in critical conditions with no hospital facilities. Actually, since Trump pronouncement on Jerusalem in April, every Friday witnessed mass marches on the borders with Israel. More than 250 killed by live bullets and over 10,000 injured.
Note 2: You’ll notice that those harvested by Israeli snipers are mostly youths
Note 3: Jared Kushner joined the chanting of the Israelis in Jerusalem: Burn them, shoot them, kill them’: Israelis cheer in Jerusalem as Palestinians shot in Gaza #Occupation
Note 4: Do you think Ivanka Trump Kushner was shielded from the news of the massacres a few miles away?

Eight-month-old Laila is youngest Palestinian killed in Gaza on Monday, the deadliest day since 2014 war

From left: Ahmed Alrantisi, Laila Anwar Al-Ghandoor, Ahmed Altetr, Alaa Alkhatib Ezz el-din Alsamaak, Motassem Abu Louley (screengrab)
MEE staff's picture
Last update: Wednesday 16 May 2018 22:43 UTC

Sixty-two people were either killed or died of wounds inflicted by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip on Monday and Tuesday as thousands of Palestinians demonstrated across the occupied territory to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Gaza Ministry of Health released the names of 59 Palestinians killed:

1. Laila Anwar Al-Ghandoor, 8 months old

2. Ezz el-din Musa Mohamed Alsamaak, 14 years old

3. Wisaal Fadl Ezzat Alsheikh Khalil, 15 years old

4. Ahmed Adel Musa Alshaer, 16 years old

5. Saeed Mohamed Abu Alkheir, 16 years old

6. Ibrahim Ahmed Alzarqa, 18 years old

7. Eman Ali Sadiq Alsheikh, 19 years old

8. Zayid Mohamed Hasan Omar, 19 years old

9. Motassem Fawzy Abu Louley, 20 years old

10. Anas Hamdan Salim Qadeeh, 21 years old

11. Mohamed Abd Alsalam Harz, 21 years old

From left: Fadi Abu Salah, Motaz Al-Nunu, Jihad Mohammed Othman Mousa, Mousa Jabr Abdulsalam Abu Hasnayn, Ezz Eldeen Nahid Aloyutey, Anas Hamdan Salim Qadeeh

12. Yehia Ismail Rajab Aldaqoor, 22 years old

13. Mustafa Mohamed Samir Mahmoud Almasry, 22 years old

14. Ezz Eldeen Nahid Aloyutey, 23 years old

15. Mahmoud Mustafa Ahmed Assaf, 23 years old

16. Ahmed Fayez Harb Shahadah, 23 years old

17. Ahmed Awad Allah, 24 years old

18. Khalil Ismail Khalil Mansor, 25 years old

19. Mohamed Ashraf Abu Sitta, 26 years old

20. Bilal Ahmed Abu Diqah, 26 years old

21. Ahmed Majed Qaasim Ata Allah, 27 years old

From left: Mahmoud Wael Mahmoud Jundeyah, Ibrahim Ahmed Alzarqa, Musab Yousef Abu Leilah, Jihad Mufid Al-Farra, Saeed Mohamed Abu Alkheir, Mohamed Hasan Mustafa Alabadilah (screengrab)

22. Mahmoud Rabah Abu Maamar, 28 years old

23.Musab Yousef Abu Leilah, 28 years old

24. Ahmed Fawzy Altetr, 28 years old

25. Mohamed Abdelrahman Meqdad, 28 years old

26. Obaidah Salim Farhan, 30 years old

27. Jihad Mufid Al-Farra, 30 years old

28. Fadi Hassan Abu Salah, 30 years old

29. Motaz Bassam Kamil Al-Nunu, 31 years old

30. Mohammed Riyad Abdulrahman Alamudi, 31 years old

31. Jihad Mohammed Othman Mousa, 31 years old

32. Shahir Mahmoud Mohammed Almadhoon, 32 years old

33. Mousa Jabr Abdulsalam Abu Hasnayn, 35 years old

From left: Shahir Mahmoud Mohammed Almadhoon, Khalil Ismail Khalil Mansor, Mahmoud Saber Hamad Abu Taeemah, Mohamed Ashraf Abu Sitta, Mustafa Mohamed Samir Mahmoud Almasry, Obaidah Salim Farhan (screengrab)

34. Mohammed Mahmoud Abdulmoti Abdal’al, 39 years old

35. Ahmed Mohammed Ibrahim Hamdan, 27 years old

36. Ismail Khalil Ramadhan Aldaahuk, 30 years old

37. Ahmed Mahmoud Mohammed Alrantisi, 27 years old

38. Alaa Alnoor Ahmed Alkhatib, 28 years old

39. Mahmoud Yahya Abdawahab Hussain, 24 years old

40. Ahmed Abdullah Aladini, 30 years old

41. Saadi Said Fahmi Abu Salah, 16 years old

42. Ahmed Zahir Hamid Alshawa, 24 years old

43. Mohammed Hani Hosni Alnajjar, 33 years old

44. Fadl Mohamed Ata Habshy, 34 years old

45. Mokhtar Kaamil Salim Abu Khamash, 23 years old

46. Mahmoud Wael Mahmoud Jundeyah, 21 years old

47. Abdulrahman Sami Abu Mattar, 18 years old

48. Ahmed Salim Alyaan Aljarf, 26 years old

From left: Mohammed Hani Hosni Alnajjar, Yehia Ismail Rajab Aldaqoor, Mohammed Riyad Abdulrahman Alamudi, Ahmed Adel Musa Alshaer, Fadl Mohamed Ata Habshy, Ismail Khalil Ramadhan Aldaahuk (screengrab)

49. Mahmoud Sulayman Ibrahim Aql, 32 years old

50. Mohamed Hasan Mustafa Alabadilah, 25 years old

51. Kamil Jihad Kamil Mihna, 19 years old

52. Mahmoud Saber Hamad Abu Taeemah, 23 years old

53. Ali Mohamed Ahmed Khafajah, 21 years old

54. Abdelsalam Yousef Abdelwahab, 39 years old

55. Mohamed Samir Duwedar, 27 years old

56. Talal Adel Ibrahim Mattar, 16 years old

57. Omar Jomaa Abu Ful, 30 years old

58. Nasser Ahmed Mahmoud Ghrab, 51 years old

59. Bilal Badeer Hussein Al-Ashram, 18 years old

60 – 62: Unidentified

Note: You can see the real stats on deaths at ifamericansknew. I read a few of the Hasbara (Zionist paid commentators on articles that are Not in favor of Israel policies) comments on this post such as: “But wait, Palestinians kill Jews”




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