Lebanese advocate a free market system, believe in private
initiative, and work on safeguarding diversity and openness.
This should not blind us to the fact that the way in which
political life has been conducted, especially since
independence, has weakened the system and paved the way for
crises of all sorts.
sectarianism was not the only cause of the shortcomings in
the political system. There are other distortions that have
weakened the national structure. It has become insufficient
to try to maintain the system by claiming that its
distortions and idiosyncrasies are manifestations of
Lebanese political system has evolved patterns of
traditional practice that have allowed personal agendas and
individual interests to come first, over the needs of the
nation. In the absence of organized political parties that
institutionalize political activity and prepare its members
to bear public responsibility, loyalty to the nation and to
the state is often much weaker than concern over personal
interest. This is undoubtedly the reason why all attempts at
political reform have failed, especially with respect to the
public administration, the reform of which has been blocked
by feudal political loyalties, protectionism and personal
Lebanese political system needs to be protected so that its
negative aspects do not override the many positive
characteristics that define this system and give Lebanon its
advanced position on many levels. In addition to protecting
this process we must also give precedence to the rule of law
in order to guarantee public freedoms and maintain civil
peace, social justice and political stability. Under the
rule of law, Lebanese groups and individuals can realize
their skills and potential and enter a democratic
competition to achieve the best for all.
is not difficult for any Lebanese to see, from the
countryís bitter experiences, that democratic national
life has two requirements. Firstly, an honest, qualified and
strong political elite with vision, an unshakable will and
determination. Secondly, an honest and upright judiciary
that believes in applying law without bias or favoritism.
unsullied and efficient political elite has been unable to
play a role in government. Competition over governmental
positions, according to political platform, policies and
ideas is still absent. Instead, competition takes place on
individual or family levels, a practice that does not help
formulate distinct parliamentary groups or further the
process of democracy. Thus, we lack the plurality of
political parties that alternate and broker power as in
other national democratic systems. For this reason, deputies
are elected on their individual platforms, governments are
predominantly made of coalitions formed under constitutional
considerations that make governmental performance less than
adequate. Political accountability for governmental
inefficiency or illegal action is still absent.
and political parties are two faces of the same coin.
Lebanon needs this coin to realize political, constructive,
educational, technological and economic progress. The
quicker political parties come into being, strengthen and
gain more popularity, the shorter the transitional period
towards a better representative political system.
fact that political parties do not compete in parliamentary
elections does not exempt us from the key democratic
obligation of selecting our political and parliamentary
representatives properly. The Lebanese do not lack the
required deep-rooted political awareness.
and effective participation in elections is both a duty and
a responsibility that we should be ready to meet in order to
bring to Parliament those who best represent the people.
This is the best means for renewing national political life
and the political system itself. These are the both the
traditions of democracy and the requirements of co-existence
in Lebanonís political regime.
same rules that apply to parliamentary elections also apply
to municipal elections, which express peopleís direct and
local participation in democracy. Local councils must be
developed to effectively contribute to comprehensive
development. In order to assume their heavy responsibilities
in the process of development, municipalities must enjoy
financial and administrative independence.
organizations and associations also play a crucial role in
paving the way for citizens to participate in the
decision-making processes that involve the issues of their
The Future Movement