Aoun Says ‘Irregularities’ in Christian-Druze Ties a ‘Historic Mistake that Won’t be Repeated’

Lebanese President Michel Aoun, sits at the presidential palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Lebanon's parliament on Monday elected Michel Aoun, an 81-year-old former army commander and strong ally of the militant group Hezbollah, as the country's president, ending a more than two-year vacuum in the top post and a political crisis that brought state institutions perilously close to collapse. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

President Michel Aoun emphasized Monday that no one will be able to strain the relations between Christians and Druze in Lebanon, stressing the importance of unity in the Mount Lebanon district.

“No one will be able to strain the ties between Christians and Druze and the irregularities that happened were a historic mistake that will not be repeated,” Aoun said at the Baabda Palace during a meeting with Arab Tawhid Party chief Wiam Wahhab and a delegation of Druze religious clerics.

“We are asked to build the country together, starting from Mount Lebanon,” Aoun told the clerics.

Mount Lebanon had in the year 2000 witnessed a historic reconciliation between Druze and Christians that turned the page on the bloody chapters and displacement of the 1975-1990 civil war.

The current thorny debate on the electoral law has sparked renewed political tensions between the Christian political parties and Druze leader MP Walid Jumblat.

While al-Mustaqbal Movement has rejected that the electoral law be fully based on the proportional representation system, arguing that Hizbullah’s arms would prevent serious competition in the party’s strongholds, Jumblat has totally rejected proportional representation, even within a hybrid law, warning that it would “marginalize” the minority Druze community.

Jumblat’s rivals in the Druze community – Wahhab and MP Talal Arslan – have meanwhile voiced support for proportional representation.