President Aoun of Lebanon calls for major political changes but will protesters take heed?

President Aoun of Lebanon calls for major political changes but will protesters take heed?

Ramazan Khalidov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

President Michel Aoun of Lebanon expressed his concerns about mass demonstrations and the need to listen. Thus, he vowed to form a new emergency government based on expertise and not political or religious affiliation. Hence, like protesters are demanding, a new technocratic government is in the offing.

Aoun, who is a Maronite Christian, uttered that sectarian-based politics is a “destructive disease.” This relates to the National Pact of 1943 that specifies that the president must be a follower of Maronite Christianity, the prime minister is a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of parliament is a Shia Muslim.

In other words, Aoun is trying to reach out to protesters because they are demanding real political change. Thus, the promise of ending sectarian-based politics and creating a government of technocrats is the echo of the protesters.

Aoun stipulated, “Ministers should be selected based on their qualifications and experience, not their political loyalties.”

However, it remains to be seen if protesters have faith in his words and if the president can implement real change. After all, the sectarian-based political system, power control mechanisms, traditional vested interests, and cronyism runs extremely deep. Therefore, protests will likely continue until real change is genuinely implemented.


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