Critics slam the FFM-LF Maarab agreement as undemocratic , “abolishes political life”

Top FPM and LF officials celebrating the signing of the Maarab agreement
Top FPM and LF officials celebrating the signing of the Maarab agreement

Sources opposed to the Maarab Agreement slammed the deal and said it  reflected intentions to “abolish political and democratic life in Lebanon.”

“The Lebanese Forces and the Free Patriotic Movement promised Christians that they would lead them into a new era of effective political presence and role, but what has been made public  is a mere deal aimed at  splitting ministerial, parliamentary and administrative posts and distributing them to partisans and supporters,” the sources told al-Joumhouria newspaper in remarks published Saturday.

“Where are the national principles in the agreement, which contained no common vision for regaining sovereignty, reviving the role of legitimate institutions or implementing the constitution?” the sources asked.

They added: “The agreement did not even mention any common vision for combating corruption and achieving economic reform, or essential files such as electricity, oil, health, social affairs and the media.”

“A bilateral agreement between two parties cannot abolish the constitution, especially in terms of equality among citizens regarding rights and duties… Administrative posts should not be limited to those chosen by political parties, whoever these parties might be,” the sources went on to say.

Accordingly, they described the Maarab Agrement as a recipe for “abolishing political and democratic life in Lebanon” and a “project for pushing youths and competent, non-partisan individuals to emigration.”

The LF  reportedly leaked the highly confidential agreement to the media in recent days after FPM  chief Gebran Bassil reneged on implementing the deal as far as the  share that each of them should get in the new government.

“Christian Sykes-Picot Agreement”

This is not the first time the deal has been criticized.  A senior Marada Movement official  slammed the  Free Patriotic Movement-Lebanese Forces alliance as a “Christian Sykes-Picot Agreement” aimed at eliminating the other Christian political forces in the country ,ad-Diyar newspaper reported in February 2017

“Their agreement is a Christian Sykes-Picot aimed at splitting gains between the FPM and the LF and attempting to impose what resembles a ‘political mandate’ on the Christian arena,” the Marada official told ad-Diyar .

The Sykes-Picot Agreement was a secret 1916 agreement between Britain and France under which the two world powers agreed to divide Ottoman-held Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Palestine into various French- and British-administered areas.

“They are trying to monopolize the Christian arena and prevent the emergence of a significant bloc that opposes them,” he added.

“This exclusionary scheme will not be allowed to happen and it will be confronted,” the Marada official vowed.

The official noted that the current “behavior” of the FPM-LF alliance “will automatically push all the affected Christian parties to align in one front to counter the elimination attempt that they are facing.”

 Full text  of Maarab agreement in Arabic
The highly secretive FPM- LF Maarab agreement was officially made public with the approval of the Lebanese Forces according to LBCI
LBCI obtained a full copy of the accord.
The four page accord   begins with a declaration of intent between the two parties and ends with the signatures of Free Patriotic Movement head Gebran Bassil and MP Ibrahim Kanaan representing FPM  and the signatures of Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Minister of InformationMelhem Riachi representing LF .
The agreement tackled the parliamentary elections, the distribution of the ministerial portfolios between the two parties and the distribution of  top government  posts.