The urgent need for a strong Lebanese president


Baabda presidential chair  awaits the new occupant of the palace
Baabda presidential chair awaits the new occupant of the palace
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.

Al Arabiya



2 responses to “The urgent need for a strong Lebanese president”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Well, Nayla, it might be simpler to just acknowledge that Lebanon blew up the only guy who fit that bill, among the general crowd there, and there isn’t really another one actually IN the country. Anywhere.
    (Some of us are wondering if there’s anyone anywhere in any country in 2016 who’s capable of such feats of understanding and logic, but that’s a different discourse, of course. Check ‘education 101’.)
    I would suggest a couple of ‘poor’ ladies I know who somehow manage to survive in a hostile environment, even with all their ill-health problems driving them down because of the last 7 years (aside from one bullet), which shows an exemplary ‘WILL’ to manage the twists and turns required for winding through a sorry life in Tripoli … but then, someone would need to send a news-team to ‘see’ Tripoli when homes are not being blown up in ‘grand-action style’ and/or stolen by the ‘temporary visitors’ from Syria, to discover that the place is actually a part of Lebanon and might deserve an occasional ‘by-line’ …. right?
    I mean, isn’t Beirut the ‘be-all and end-all’ of Political Lebanon?? Why, there isn’t even one foreign ‘Embassy-Contact’ person in that ‘2nd-biggest’ city. All roads flow expensively to Beirut … in the taxies.
    I DO admire that you entered that ‘politicial realm’, surely with some trepidation in ‘Leb-World’, and manage to survive in the monetary sense by applying time to the tasks of helping manage a small newspaper as well … and are doing that part of the winding roads better than the ‘turfed from University’ ladies of Tripoli, of course, who couldn’t even get some of the expenses to put a 7-yr-old orphan in their care into a school (which the Americans supposedly donated 10-Mil for … news-notes on it here somewhere … to fund Leb-Kids to grade 9) since the UN isn’t allowed to help Lebanese in very much due to those ‘political stances’ … of an old Taif Agreement to back up ‘An Accord’.
    I will agree with you on the fact Lebanon doesn’t manage to do that very well either.
    (not sure school would help a kid much anyway .. considering ‘allowed’ lesson-plans in most of the ‘system’)

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Perhaps Lebanon could follow Turkey since it also has a weird ‘Prime-Minister+President’ set-up, and things are really moving there lately … as we can note.

Leave a Reply