Sleiman Frangieh: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

SF

The Good

Lebanon will finally have a president after 20 months of useless parliament sessions that were unable to elect a new head of state.

The Bad

  • Sleiman Frangieh is another pre-approved compromise candidate who wants to be assured of his election before any parliamentary voting. He is not different from the previous candidates (Elias Hrawi and Emile Lahoud) who were chosen during the Syrian takeover of Lebanon. Then followed by Michel Sleiman, who was a “fait accompli” agreed on in Doha following the deadly clashes of May 8 in the streets of Beirut.
  • His election is expected to be a continuation of his predecessors’ approach on splitting the political and economical cheese between all sectarian leaders.
  • Sleiman Frangieh will not be able to perform drastic reforms in Lebanon, like exposing corruption or modernizing laws that directly affect businesses of eminent people, including himself.
  • Due to the political system in Lebanon, opposition is expected to rise in front of Frangieh, countering his plans and putting sticks in the wheels of projects that subsequently affect the Lebanese society.
  • Sleiman Frangieh has no political or economic program for legislators to elect upon and hold him accountable at a later stage. He is simply presenting himself as the only remaining option to choose among other candidates.

The Ugly

  • The rush from regional and world powers to elect a new president show their concern about stabilizing Lebanon before a major regional event.
  • During his mandate as Minister of Interior between October 2004 and April 2005, Sleiman Frangieh was keen on satisfying his entourage in Zgharta, granting random permits for tinted car windows, distributing special car plate numbers, issuing gun licenses for his companions and many other treatments such as temporary Bingo shops that benefited individuals rather than the general public.
  • The current regional situation is similar to the beginning of 1970’s, whereas ISIS is acting like Israel, an alien entity spreading chaos, wars and destruction among Arab countries. At that time, Lebanon and the world were also divided between two ideologies and electing Sleiman Frangieh Sr. lead to the dissolution of Intelligence Bureau “maktab teneh” which gave Palestinians, Syrians, Israelis and others the freedom to act during 3 years before the events of 1975.
  • Bashar Al-Assad clearly said that he prefers a Lebanese president “conscious” about the Syrian crisis. And due to the very close and personal relation with the Syrian president, Sleiman Frangieh is expected to take side regarding this conflict in his dialogue and actions; thus assigning Lebanon a dangerous and irreversible role.
  • Sleiman Frangieh is a middle school dropout at the age of 14 lacking higher education which could be an embarrassment for a president representing Lebanon abroad. Unlike former Uruguay president José Mujica who came from a poor lower social class, but described as the “humblest president”, Frangieh is a feudalist acting like a lord in his native region of Zgharta.

 

 

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