Aoun: Taef accord should be trashed


aoun def 5Free Patriotic Movement leader slammed the Taef accord saying this is not an accord and should be dumped in the garbage .

He made the statement after the Change and Reform bloc’s weekly meeting on Tuesday.

The Taef or Taif Agreement (also called the “National Reconciliation Accord,” or “Document of National Accord”) was an agreement reached to provide “the basis for the ending of the civil war and the return to political normalcy in Lebanon.” Negotiated in Taif, Saudi Arabia, it was designed to end the decades-long Lebanese civil war. It was signed on 22 October 1989 and ratified by the Lebanese parliament on 5 November 1989.

Aoun, who was one of the prime ministers at the time, refused to attend the conference in Taif and denounced the politicians who did so as traitors and issued a decree dissolving the parliament . After it was signed, Aoun denounced the Accord for not appointing a real date for the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon. After the Taif Accord was signed , the parliament met to elect René Moawad as President in November 89. Despite heavy handed pressure from Syria to dismiss Aoun, Moawad refused to do so; his presidency lasted just 17 days before he was assassinated. Elias Hrawi was elected in his place. After assuming office as president, Hrawi appointed General Émile Lahoud as commander of the army and ordered Aoun out of the Presidential Palace. Aoun rejected his dismissal.

The turning point for Aoun was when his ally Saddam Hussein was weakened following his invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. Saddam could no longer help him and consequently Aoun was defeated on 13 October 1990 when the Syrian forces invaded Beirut killing hundreds of unarmed soldiers and civilians. Aoun fled to the French embassy, and was later allowed to travel to France. He returned to Lebanon on 7 May 2005, eleven days after the withdrawal of Syrian troops.

Electoral law

Aoun also rejected on Tuesday any possible alternative to the Orthodox Gathering electoral law, saying that the rights of Christians in Lebanon are being seized.

“I was not informed of any of the discussions that were held in Rome.”

His comment comes after Prime Minister Najib Mikati had hinted on Monday that an agreement had been reached in Rome with Speaker Nabih Berri and Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai over an electoral law.

Al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Tuesday that the agreement states that political foes should consent on a hybrid electoral law that divides the parliamentary seats equally based on winner-takes-all and proportional systems or 60 percent of MPs be elected through the winner-takes-all and 40 according to the proportional system.

Al-Rai is set to propose the plan to Christians factions upon his return to Lebanon, according to the report.

Aoun stressed that the Orthodox Gathering law is constitutional, as is the proposal that calls for the adoption of Lebanon as a single district based on proportional representation.

Last Tuesday Aoun said that all parties that reject Orthodox Gathering law are committing crimes against the country.

“If the Orthodox Gathering’s proposal is not adopted, it [will remain] impossible for us to reach consensus on a new law,” Aoun said adding “if the Orthodox draft fails to pass, all the parties who reject it would be “criminals against the country.”

In an interview published last Tuesday by As-Safir newspaper, Mikati reiterated his rejection of the Orthodox Gathering electoral draft law .

“The Orthodox law will legalize federalism and cantons and will undermine the Taef Accord,” he told the daily

The Orthodox draft law, which calls for proportional voting along sectarian lines had been endorsed by the country’s four major Christian parties. However, it was met with severe opposition from the Future Movement, the PSP, and independent March 14 Christian MPs, as well as President Michel Suleiman.