By: Nayla Tueni
Many talk about Lebanon’s urgent need for a strong president. The Christians limit this strength to sectarian and popular representation. This is the right standard, but there are different concepts to the kind of strong president Lebanon needs, as power is not limited to popular representation.
We need a wise and knowledgeable president, because the Lebanese formula requires soft power that is able to manage diversity and plurality, and coordinate among social and political components that are often distant.
Lebanon needs a president who is open to the Arab world and the international community, as it needs Arab and international support with border, security, economic and social problems. The country has never managed to rise without its Arab brothers – whenever they disagree, domestic balance is shaken and conflicts erupt.
Lebanon needs a president who is experienced in stable governance, not in monopolizing authority and decision-making. It needs a president who clearly acknowledges the priority of an amended constitution through the Taif Agreement, who respects constitutional legitimacy and does not violate it by calling for measures that oppose constitutional provisions.
Lebanon needs a president who respects and commits to the regularity of institutional work, and does not boycott parliamentary sessions scheduled to elect a president. The country needs someone who does not delay forming governments or obstructs their work. The strong president we demand is one who reconsiders all his stances, apologizes for his mistakes, presents a plan for the future, and convinces us that he is worthy.
This article was first published in an-Nahar on July 11, 2016.
MP Nayla Tueni has been a member of the Lebanese parliament since 2009 . She is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s daily, Annahar.