Sunday, June 7, 2009, Lebanon held their elections and the March 14th ticket gained seats in the Parliament for which they are in the majority. The Daily Star has two articles (more actually, but I am going to post one and discuss the other).
How many people knew there was even an election? Oh, I forgot. It’s the economy stupid. NOT. This is very important. We are still trying to find the guilty parties behind the assassination of former PM Hariri, Hizbullah is still refusing to give up their war guns, Syria is still messing with Lebanon’s affairs, and it is a struggle between those who desire to get on with their freedom and those who desire to take it from them. So this is a very important election.
Let me first explain how the parliament is set up so you will understand the election.
There are 128 seats in Parliament which are divided evenly between Christians and Muslims. One has to be 25 years old to run for office. They are elected to serve a term of four years. For the Muslims, 27 seats go to Sunnis, 27 seats go to Shiites, 8 go to Druze, and 2 go to Alawites. 34 go to the Maronites, 14 to the Greek Orthodox, eight to the Greek Catholics, five to the Armenian Orthodox, one to the Armenian Catholics, one to Evangelicals and one to minority sects. The speaker of the house is always a Shiite.
While we have an electoral college, they have 26 electoral districts. Voter eligibility for this election was 21 years old. However service members were not allowed to participate in the election. If that happened here, I’d be having a protest from now until the day I died, but I do not know the reasoning behind this. Could it be that Hizbullah has infiltrated the military? I don’t know.
These are the conditions for this election. There were 587 candidates, voting started at 7 am and lasted until 7 pm, there were 5,200 voting stations, and after voting they had to dip their finger in ink to prove they voted and so they could not vote again (we should do this!).
Now we know some of the basics, let’s discuss what happened.
Hat tip: This information came from The Daily Star: Key facts about Lebanon’s 2009 elections.
Major challenges await newly elected parliament.
Monday, June 08, 2009
BEIRUT: Lebanese headed to the polls Sunday in crucial parliamentary elections that will determine the country’s future for the next four years. Here are some of the challenges facing the 2009 Parliament:
The role of Hizbullah’s resistance army is a major bone of contention. March 14 leaders call for a state monopoly on arms, a demand echoed by UN Security Council resolutions. But Hizbullah has sworn to keep the weapons it says are vital to defend Lebanon from Israel.
* RELATIONS WITH SYRIA
Pulling Lebanon from Syria’s orbit has been at the heart of March 14’s agenda since the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, while many March 8 leaders maintain very close ties to Damascus.
Syria still faces calls from March 14 and the United Nations to demarcate its border with Lebanon. March 14 leaders also accuse Syria of arming Palestinian groups based in Lebanon.
* HARIRI TRIBUNAL
Establishing an international tribunal to try suspects in Hariri’s killing was a key goal of anti-Syrian politicians, who blamed Damascus for the killing. The issue aggravated political conflict with Syrias allies in Lebanon.
Plans for the court were never approved by the Lebanese parliament or president. The Security Council voted in May 2007 to set up the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and it began work in March at The Hague. Hizbullah again questioned the neutrality of an international inquiry into the assassination after the tribunal ordered the release of four pro-Syrian generals held without charge since 2005. – Reuters
Source: The Daily Star: Major challenges await newly elected parliament.
With Europe turning to the right and Lebanon turning to the common sense (right), why are we now going to go down the paths these countries have found by trial and error they failed? Just asking.
May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.