President Aoun finds set of keys at Baabda Palace, keeps them in his pocket

Translator: Cynthia P. FEGHALI
Original article:

Tuesday, the 31st of January, 2017 – 06:08
Lebanon Files

Ever since the election of General Michel Aoun as the President of the Lebanese Republic, he has been fully exercising the presidential powers that are entrusted to him by the Lebanese Constitution and Taif Agreement, and that have not been used by any other president before Aoun. As he has changed the meaning of the first presidency from “welcoming and bidding farewells” into “deciding and determining according to the Constitution.”

At first, everyone questioned President Aoun’s statement that there is no return to the sixties’ law and that the elections will be held based on a new electoral law to be agreed upon among all Lebanese factions. However, that skepticism faded away after Aoun announcing the equation of either reaching a new electoral law or a vacuum.
President Aoun holds in his pocket the keys of hindering the elections as he has prevented the extension of the Parliament’s term. He had looked long for these keys in the drawers of Baabda Palace, given that they were buried in the past, and it was forbidden to use them or even any others, that they have become very rusty and covered with dust!
All of this presidential pressure urges political factions to approve a new electoral law. With the endeavors of the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces, i.e. “the forearms of the President,” new formulas are being combined today in order to reach a mixed law that rectifies the representation of all categories.
Aoun has many keys and they could be found in the Lebanese Constitution and Taif amendments. He will not miss an opportunity to use the right key for the right door. He is sending very clear messages, which could all be found in his oath speech. He is taking control of the Cabinet meeting sessions like a true president of the Republic, that we had missed for a long time, especially when he rejected the request of the Minister of Interior Nohad El Mashnouk at Wednesday’s session to fund the parliamentary elections based on the sixties’ law and his refusal to assign the electoral supervisory commission. In case these two conditions are not met, there will be no parliamentary elections.

Today, we are before a clear scene: either a vacuum or a new electoral law, because this distinctive President will not accept to break his oath speech, as we should not lose sight that the FPM and Lebanese Forces are standing behind the President to support him.