So, today, this very minute, the Lebanese Parliament is voting on who will be the next President of Lebanon.
A few points of context:
– These Members of Parliament extended their own terms without any public approval. Do they still have legitimacy? Can they still claim to represent us? (If they could claim it from the start, that is, given the problematic nature of their own election.)
– The official nominee of the largest bloc (but not large enough to carry the votes) is a convicted murderer in Lebanese courts. Is his nomination legitimate? (And many folks respond to his nomination by saying, well, he’s not the only warlord. How about that for a vote of confidence? Criminals are accepted so long as they are not alone, eh?) He also had (has?) known ties with an enemy-state to Lebanon. Is that legitimate? (And, yes, regardless what some Lebanese may want, we are officially at war with Israel and Israel is officially regarded as an enemy state.)
– The French Ambassador walked in – as a head of an entourage – into the Parliament to oversee the elections for the next President? Is that legitimate? Could the Lebanese Ambassador do the same in France?
All the while, the vast majority of Lebanese (minus a sliver protesting Samir Geagea’s nomination) go on with our days, awaiting news of the next leader who will join the ranks of those who do not represent us.
And no surprise: no president elected.
The votes, as reported by the Speaker of the House Nabih Berri:
Samir Geagea: 48
Henri el Helou: 16
Amin Gemayel: 1
Cancelled votes: 7 – (These are among the many killed by Samir Geagea). The breakdown below was reported by tayyar.org
– Rashid Karami – 1
– Tareq Dany Chamoun – 2
– Dany Chamoun – 1
– Jihan Tony Frangieh – 1
– Elias el Zayek – 1
Notes: Tracy Chamoun was nominated but received no votes.