President Samir Geagea Program (English)
I am honored to address you today as a candidate to the Presidency, in delicate circumstances overshadowing the country and the region, at a time when the Presidency is recovering its glory and allure thanks to the honorable stances taken by the current President, General Michel Sleiman, after a long era of marginalization and undermining during the times of tutelage, that lasted for over a quarter of a century.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - President Samir Geagea Program (English)
The Lebanese State and Entity..................................................................3
Recovering the Government’s Authority to Make Decisions...................5
National Constants ....................................................................................6
The Taef Agreement..................................................................................7
The Government and the Exclusivity of Weapons ...................................8
The Judicial System...................................................................................9
The Death Penalty ...................................................................................10
Military and Security Institutions............................................................11
The Economy and Political Reform........................................................12
Activating the Partnership Between the Private and the Public Sectors,
and the Role of Regulatory Bodies .........................................................12
Electricity and Telecommunication ........................................................13
The Code of Commerce ..........................................................................14
Oil and Gas..............................................................................................15
Duty Free Zones and Activating Airports and Harbors..........................16
Administrative Decentralization .............................................................17
Governance and the Fight Against Corruption .......................................18
Control of Resources...............................................................................19
I am honored to address you today as a candidate to the Presidency, in
delicate circumstances overshadowing the country and the region, at a
time when the Presidency is recovering its glory and allure thanks to the
honorable stances taken by the current President, General Michel
Sleiman, after a long era of marginalization and undermining during the
times of tutelage, that lasted for over a quarter of a century.
I address you today, completely confident that the Presidency still has,
after the Taef Agreement, important powers. It is still able to play a
pivotal role in directing the compass of political life in Lebanon in the
right, patriotic direction, provided that a President chosen by the people,
through their representatives, accesses this position.
The tutelage-imposed marginalization of the presidential role does not
express the true constitutional, legal and political position of this role. In
fact, a truly sovereign president is well able to properly implement
constitutional provisions, in a way to serve national goals and achieve
Lebanon’s higher interest.
The Lebanese State and Entity
Lebanon is currently going through one of the most perilous periods of
its contemporary history. Lebanon, both as a State and an entity, is being
subjected to continuous, direct threats. The government cannot afford to
share its power or the decision-making privilege, or to have anyone
undermining its authority; and the Lebanese entity cannot afford to have
its balance meddled with, its pacts undermined and its coexistence
In this context, I ask each and every one of you:
Are you satisfied with the miserable situation that Lebanon has come to?
Do you feel reassured regarding your country, your present and your
Aren’t you all filled with doubts and overcome with anxiety about all
what’s being prepared in public and in secret, and about what the future
holds for you?
Aren’t you concerned about the government and its authority, and about
Who among you does not sense the frustration and anger of the youth,
and their constant struggle to find an escape through emigration, looking
for a job opportunity here and there, fleeing security, economic and
The ongoing crisis compels us to say that the actions of some,
committed with or without full knowledge, are resulting in the
undermining of the foundations of the government, and menacing the
Lebanese entity, threatening to alter Lebanon’s shining image.
Lebanon as we know it is shifting to the worst, slowly dwindling.
Lebanon as we know it has become a candle whose flame is slowly
dimming, and our biggest fear is that we will get to the point of total
darkness; at that moment, the Lebanon we have always dreamt of will be
a mere illusion, a mirage, if the situation remains the same, and if we
keep dealing with it the same way.
Today, Lebanon was robbed of its administration and its decision. The
government is hindered and paralyzed, two steps from turning into a
Our national responsibility is to stand side by side in order to break the
shackles of fear, anxiety and chaos. We must rush to save the Republic,
and bring victory to the concept of the state, in the face of the Statelet.
Recovering the Government’s Authority to Make Decisions
The confiscation of the government’s authority to make decisions has
gone too far. It is a problem that must be radically solved until it
becomes an exception from the past, and should never be established as
a reality that stigmatizes Lebanon’s present and future.
The most important challenge that I want to tackle through my
candidacy to the presidential elections resides in implementing the
constitution, and enforcing the laws in a way to recover the
government’s authority to make decisions, and to restore the government
as a true government!
In order to solve any of our country’s problems, we must not rely on
wishes and statements alone, but rather take the decision to change, and
implement it. The government has the executive tools to concretize its
aspirations into procedural decisions, in a way to ensure that all citizens
enjoy their natural and political rights, without hesitation or fear, without
oppression or terrorism.
The government means esteem; and the government’s esteem depends
on that of the Presidency.
The Presidency of the Republic is a dynamic starting point for the
recovery of the government, from the pyramid’s tip to its base. It is a
focal point in the path of redressing the situation, encumbered with gaps,
malpractices and imbalances.
The phase we are going through can no longer tolerate incomplete
solutions, unfinished positions or unachieved presidents.
The slogan of “moderation” has turned into a deadly shade of gray,
which resulted in a policy of vagueness, indecision and the failure to
take a stance.
The political reality that some are praising has turned into submission,
surrender, and a bitter endurance in the status quo.
Thus, redressing the national political life cannot be achieved unless we
start by clearly admitting a series of constants that are not subject to
debate, and that constitute the very essence of the Baabda Declaration
and the Bkirki’s National Memorandum. These constants include:
1. Lebanon’s true and complete independence, under a free and
powerful government, capable of imposing its authority,
exclusively, in its legitimate institutions.
2. Respecting the Constitution, abiding to its text and spirit, and
making sure it is applied without any exceptions… or favoritism,
and without rounding any of its corners, for any reason
3. Lebanon’s neutrality, as a guarantee to its continued existence as
an immune country in the face of the peril of expanding wars and
external conflicts towards it, with an emphasis on solidarity with
both the Arab and the International worlds in just causes of
humanitarian and political relevance, with the Palestinian cause at
The Taef Agreement
The challenge facing our entity today is pushing us more and more to
adhere to the Taef Agreement as a political framework that would
consecrate the spirit of the pact, and foster the constitutional concept of
political life. In order to achieve national balance and recover possession
of the Republic, we must work on bridging all the practical gaps that
have arisen through experience and practice in the past era; those
shortcomings have harmed the government’s drive, as well as the
productivity and the stability of the different institutions, especially
when it comes to the Presidency and the electoral law. Let us endeavor
to fill these gaps, be it for the sake of presidential work, or for the sake
of drafting a new, modern law for parliamentary elections, as soon as
presidential elections are through.
The ideal electoral law we aspire to is one that would find the right
balance between preserving coexistence and providing a true national
Warped and severed electoral laws have resulted in the marginalization
of large categories of the Lebanese people, and led to the fueling of
sectarian and religious fanaticism.
The Government and the Exclusivity of Weapons
Presenting my candidacy to the Presidency of the Republic stems from a
personal conviction to never squander the noble sacrifices that were
made, and are still being made, by the Lebanese people of different
affiliations, in order to achieve an impervious country that provides a
decent and free living to its people.
This candidacy is a humble attempt to shorten the Road to Calvary, long
endured by the Lebanese people, for their adherence to independence,
freedom and sovereignty, until the complete achievement of the desired
Preserving Lebanon requires installing the concept of the government,
and the work of all categories of the Lebanese people in order to uphold
the State, recognize the supremacy of the Constitution, respect the laws
and adhere to the requirements of the establishment of the State. No
country in the world will agree to share its power and decision with any
political party or movement, or to have its decision subjected to the
authority of a certain group. Therefore, there will be no lenience when it
comes to the “exclusivity of weapons” in the hands of the government
and under its command.
The government we aspire for is one capable of maintaining its territory
and its national identity, so that no Lebanese citizen ever feels like a
stranger on his own land.
We want a government that protects its people and imposes security, so
that safety, stability and tranquility shall prevail.
We want a government that respects its people, provides it with social
justice and watches over their dignity.
We want a government that preserves its youth and provides them with
all the reasons to stay and be resilient, not a government that exports
competencies and genius, and imports burdens and problems.
We want a government that is complete and balanced in its institutions
and performance, especially when it comes to transparency and fighting
The Judicial System
In order to achieve the aforementioned, we must begin with the judicial
system. No government is viable without the judicial system; no
economy, business sector, security or tranquility is possible without the
Our judicial system is not at all fine.
Laws were originally made to make citizens’ lives easier – not harder.
But this is not the case in Lebanon. The tergiversation in Court work has
had a global negative impact on the political, economic and social life of
The changes that have occurred on the commercial and financial system
in recent decades require the reconsideration of the due process enforced
in Lebanon, and the placement of the Lebanese judicial system under
The suspension of the disputed rights for years, and in some cases for
decades, waiting for the final verdicts, drains these rights of some – if
not all – of their value. It also negatively affects the national economic
wheel, shakes the trust of the Lebanese citizens in the laws they are
subject to, and in the necessity to resort to court in the first place.
Our views on reforming the judicial system in Lebanon are mainly based
on the following:
- A great increase in the number of judges.
- Reconsider the time period for judicial proceeding in Lebanon.
- Reconsider the means of carrying out legal notices.
In addition, I will have absolutely no leniency in facing the corruption
and clientelism of some judges. Instead, I will work hand in hand with
the government and the competent administrations to uncover them and
immediately transfer them to inspection and then to the relevant tribunal.
Speaking about judicial reforms will only be complete after addressing
two essential issues: the death penalty, and the situation of prisons in
The Death Penalty
Human life is a gift from God; therefore, a crime can never be punished
by a sentence that is itself borderline criminal, no matter how just the
motives or the reasons of such a penalty are. Therefore, Lebanon must
completely commit to abolish the death penalty, in accordance with the
codes of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human
Tackling the issue of sentences and their implementation automatically
opens the issue of the situation of prisons in Lebanon.
Prison sentences have a clear purpose: deter criminals and rehabilitate
them, as a prelude to releasing them back into society and helping them
to reintegrate. However, prisons in Lebanon have turned into a
stronghold for crime, perversion, terrorism and drug dealing. Therefore,
we must hasten to develop the necessary plans and strategies to address
this chronic issue.
Military and Security Institutions
Military and security institutions are the backbone of security and
stability in Lebanon.
It is true that the role of these institutions was shackled, framed or
confined in a certain direction during the era of tutelage, under the
service of the Syrian intelligence services and of those in its orbit. But
the liberation and independence of Lebanon in 2005 has not brought
back these institutions to play their national role; instead, they retain
sediments of the era of tutelage, as if nothing had happened.
How is it possible that all the circumstances related to the operations
targeting a certain party were uncovered – and that’s a good thing –
while those related to the opposite party – starting with the attempt to
assassinate Marwan Hamade, the assassination of Rafik Hariri, and up to
the assassination of Mohammad Chatah and everything in between –
were ignored and concealed, not revealing a single thread except for the
findings of international investigations?
What we need today is to eliminate all impurities from the work of some
security and military apparatuses, and put them back on the right,
national and balanced track, in order to provide security and protection
for Lebanon as a whole and for all the Lebanese, without exception or
The Economy and Political Reform
This brings us to the economic situation and the living conditions, which
have greatly deteriorated in the past three years. We must seriously
reflect on the issue, and develop a clear vision on how to stop the
deterioration, and ensure the revitalization of our national economy.
The first step to any economic reform starts with restoring security and
stability, as well as the regular work of constitutional institutions. There
will be no economic reform without a political reform, and no economic
development, social security or a sustainable financial stability without a
complete recovery of all components of national sovereignty.
Restoring the government’s esteem means restoring trust; and trust is the
cornerstone of any economic construction and social reform.
Activating the Partnership Between the Private and the Public
Sectors, and the Role of Regulatory Bodies
The first challenge we are facing today is initiating the cycle of growth,
and creating job opportunities capable of containing the vigor of the
Lebanese youth, stopping the draining flows of emigration and
eradicating poverty and unemployment. Growth is the best way to fund
social services, necessary for a decent living. It is also the only way to
control public debt. Currently, the greatest danger is the increase of
public debt at a faster pace than economic growth – and this is what has
been happening for the past three consecutive years.
Therefore, in order to launch the wheel of growth, promote production
and create job opportunities of good quality and in large quantity, we
must first invest in infrastructure, through partnership mechanisms
between the private and the public sectors. These mechanisms must in
turn be reactivated after a long period of general stagnation that took
over all sectors. This goes hand in hand with the activation of the work
of the regulatory bodies relative to the said sectors, so as for those
committees to constitute a guarantee for the continuation of work,
preventing the problem of change in general policies and strategic
directions with every new Cabinet.
Electricity and Telecommunication
The first aspect of applying the said partnership should be in the
electricity sector, the reform of which has been long awaited. The
electricity sector is a burden on the government, and the origin of 40 to
60% of the treasury deficit.
Second, a partnership in the telecommunications sector, the locomotive
of growth in today’s world: the world of knowledge economy.
Regulatory bodies and the partnership between the private and the public
sectors are the groundwork of reform in all ministries pertaining to
services. We must hasten to build a system that meets the needs of
growth and participates in controlling expenditure, improving services,
and decreasing tariffs, instead of continuing to waste public funds, and
burdening future generations with debts they cannot bear, while service
Moreover, speaking of partnership requires a study of the necessity to
improve financial markets. It is a structural reform necessary for
dispersing dangers, developing companies and funding infrastructure
projects to raise their productivity, as they are the best way to benefit
from the potential and capacities of the Lebanese Diaspora, by putting it
at the service of the national economy and social stability.
The Code of Commerce
It has become a necessity to hasten the modernization of the Code of
Commerce, and all the laws pertaining to company establishment and
operations, as well as their relationship with the public sector and their
liquidation. Such laws include the Tax Law, and the Social Security Act
and its regulations. There cannot be any employment or any job
opportunities in the absence of companies, and employers will have no
incentive to legalize their businesses and the situation of their employees
as long as the bureaucratic procedure to do so is complicated and costly,
taxes and fees are discretionary and as long as bribery is rampant in all
Oil and Gas
This newfound wealth, which is oil and gas, is a blessing bestowed upon
the Lebanese economy. And to prevent it from turning into a curse,
because of the quota system and clientelism, I am truly determined to
protect this wealth with all my might, by adopting extremely transparent
standards and the rules of good governance. This will be applied by
contracting mining companies, and establishing a sovereign fund
entrusted with the sector’s revenue, as well as ensuring this fund’s
independence and exclusion from all political conflicts, at all costs.
If oil and gas are a wealth still unearthed, Lebanon has a wealth of no
lesser value, i.e. tourism. We still have not fully benefited from it, due to
political and security reasons that are secret to none. In fact, despite the
imposed constraints on this and other productive sectors, tourism
contributes with 18% of our national income, and offers a similar
percentage of employment. Just imagine what it can do in conditions
suitable to its growth! Today, tourism has expanded and now
encompasses religious tourism, business tourism, healthcare tourism and
environmental tourism; all of which Lebanon can excel in. One of the
ideas I suggest to raise Lebanon to the top of the list of touristic
countries worldwide, is the establishment of a National Committee for
the organization of Arab and International forums in all the fields of
economics, science and culture. By doing this, Lebanon will be marked
on the map of global tourism.
Duty Free Zones and Activating Airports and Harbors
In order to motivate growth, and based on Lebanon’s geographical
location and its expertise in the service and industry sectors, it is
necessary to build duty free zones in several locations in the country, on
the coast as in the Bekaa valley. These zones will create employment for
our work force, and promote our exports. Creating such zones requires
several legislations, and the rehabilitation of the infra structure. A
myriad of possibilities are available, such as: building a duty free zone at
the center of the Bekaa, and link it to the Hijaz Railway; building
another zone specialized in the IT industry in mountainous regions, or
others specialized in derivative industries or those related to the oil and
gas sector on the shore. Moreover, we should never forget the necessity
of reactivating and developing the airports of Klayaat, Hamat and Riyak,
for they play a pivotal role in developing the Lebanese agriculture and
industry sectors in general, by exporting local production and linking the
local market to other markets abroad. In today’s world of globalization
and communication, Lebanon restrained its entire economic energy in
one airport. As we never forget the necessity to develop Lebanese
harbors and recovering the operations of each one of them according to
their positions, and reviving the touristic harbors of Jounieh and Tyre,
also according to the mechanisms of partnership between the public and
the private sectors. In fact, each one of these harbors is a driving force
for the balanced growth of the country, through the economic
development of the regions and all the sectors.
In the framework of a balanced development, the draft law on
administrative decentralization must be approved. The draft law was
drafted by a special committee formed by President Michel Sleiman, and
it holds many positive aspects, especially when it comes to the
administrative and financial independence of the elected local councils.
The time has come for the implementation of administrative
decentralization, according to the provisions of the Taef Agreement, in
order to stimulate local development, as proven in more than one
The time has come for a true healthcare revolution, with the
implementation of a mandatory Social Security System that covers all
Lebanese citizens, through a low-cost health card provided to all and
available to the vast majority, provided that the government will take it
upon itself to cover those who cannot afford it. This is a radical change
that not only provides medical insurance for all the Lebanese, but it also
opens new horizons, as it will fully cooperate with the private sector’s
insurance companies. This will certainly push the economy forward,
provide medical services at the lowest cost and spare the government all
the current waste in this sector.
The education sector is in need of a comprehensive review, given its
importance on several levels.
Tomorrow's society is a reflection of the reality of today's youth, their
education and their knowledge. Lebanon suffers from a large disparity
between private education and public education, despite the immense
budget that the government consecrates to education.
The real solution lies in the adoption of what is called an Education
Card, provided by the government to each young person; it will allow
them access to any school or university of their choice. Restructuring the
expenditure of education as such contributes to rationalize spending,
benefit from the expertise of the private sector and generate positive
competition among educational institutions, which is reflected in the
rising level of education and the decrease in the level of waste on the bill
of the sector of education.
Governance and the Fight Against Corruption
Development policies and social security consolidation programs should
undergo radical reforms in the fight against corruption. Corruption is a
common chronic disease in most ministries and governmental
institutions, in real estate as in the financial departments, in customs and
other institutions. Corruption takes many forms such as bribery, illegal
transactions and contracts, concealment of official documents, and even
the falsification of legal documents, etc.
Administrations were established to serve the citizens and make their
lives easier. Administrative staff shall in no case take citizens as their
hostage and engage in extortion, fraud and favoritism in order to receive
a bribe, or overlook an illegal transaction.
This is actually the situation within the Lebanese government. It requires
the activation of the monitoring and inspection apparatuses in all
governmental institutions to fight against corruption, oversee the work
of civil servants, to ensure that they perform their duties within the scope
of the law, and to reward good people and hard workers, while on the
other hand punishing offenders, corrupt individuals and negligent
employees. It should even sentence some of them to appear before the
disciplinary board or the competent judicial authorities.
Control of Resources
The reduction of public spending and the deficit, which recently reached
alarming levels exceeding all globally accepted standards, is a matter of
life or death. Everyone is aware of the risks posed by the increase in
public debt on monetary and financial stability.
In this regard, I would like to point out that there is a huge gap wasting
public money and affecting not only security and the economy, but also
the image of Lebanon and the Lebanese abroad. I am talking about the
chaos and neglect on all border crossings, in the air, sea or land. This
opened the door to an affluent economy that grows like a virus in the
body of the national economy, and will destroy it on the long run.
I will never settle for the status quo and, from the very first moment, I
will take all necessary steps to correct these fatal distortions. Customs
legislation will be implemented and fees will be paid by all, without any
exceptions to any civil, military or religious parties. I will see to the
implementation of this measure, even if we had to abolish certain
decrees and draft others, even if it requires a complete change in the
structure of departments and the official staff on the borders, customs, in
the Internal Security Forces, in the General Security Forces and in the
Lebanese Armed Forces.
I will not accept the waste of resources in the Republic. Those who are
used to commit unlawful acts have two choices: get used to abide all
over again, or leave.
In order to facilitate administrative procedures for citizens and
businesses, to reduce bribery and corruption, and to fight the burden of
red tape, it is necessary to accelerate the implementation of
administration software automation, and the adoption of the electronic
kiosk as the cornerstone of the e-government project, which requires a
complete restructuring of work in order to simplify tasks and shorten
As we have mentioned growth, we must emphasize on the fact that we
aspire to a sustainable growth that does not advance at the expense of
Lebanon's natural wealth: its valleys, its mountains, its air and its water.
Today, we are faced with many environmental problems such as the
pollution of air and water, the crisis of waste management, and the
regression of green spaces. There are uncountable programs and
reformist ideas in this area. What we need is a mechanism to make
decisions and to find the appropriate resources, and I will not spare a
moment to do so.
Agriculture and Rural Development
One of the challenges we are facing is to maintain and develop our rural
community in a sustainable manner. Local agriculture plays an
important role in this regard. We import 80% of our food needs. This is
unacceptable in a country like Lebanon, which is mostly agricultural. On
the other hand, the sector suffers from declining markets. Therefore, we
suggested the creation of duty free zones, rehabilitate airports, reduce
the cost of electricity, develop financial markets and the infrastructure
and facilitate administrative services. All these proposals will facilitate
the sales of local produce and will open new markets. They also provide
a stimulus for growers to improve their products in order to conform to
international standards of import and export.
The Lebanese Diaspora
The Lebanese Diaspora is an integral part of the Lebanese body. I will
not go into the numerous details, but I will only say that I am determined
to revive the idea of creating an independent ministry for the Diaspora,
because it is the only one capable of monitoring the affairs of the
Diaspora and to ensure that they are tended to as we all desire.
I cannot end before mentioning that our commitment to women's rights
is part of our commitment to a civilization based on human rights. I will
not overbid on this issue. Recently, society has demonstrated an
increased awareness and a willingness to defend women who are
exposed to violence and discrimination.
Beyond that, I am committed to review all laws affecting the rights of
women and those that limit their ambitions. These laws will be amended
so that Lebanese women enjoy their rights as is the case in all civilized
The Arab Spring
Once all the reforms are implemented, Lebanon will rise to the level of
developed countries. It will be an example for the Arab world to which it
belongs and in which it plays an important role.
The historical and geographical position of Lebanon requires that
Lebanon takes a clear stance vis- à-vis regional and international
developments, including the Arab Spring, without contradicting the
principle of neutrality. Based on accumulated experience and
convictions, I support the Arab Spring as transboundary liberation
movement against dictatorships and authoritarian regimes, despite
setbacks and pitfalls it suffered, and although sometimes it deviated
away from the concept of the revolutions for justice and freedom.
In this context, I strongly condemn fundamentalism of all kinds, takfir
and extremism. I think they represent the other face of injustice and
tyranny and I will tirelessly fight them considering the danger, fatalism
and terrorism they incite.
The Syrian Situation
The painful drainage experienced by Syria and the Syrians confirms that
the situation will not improve unless the foundation for a new regime is
laid, based on the rules of democracy that preserve diversity. Any
solution outside this framework exposes Syria to perpetual turbulence.
Any given solution must ensure the full return of Syrian refugees to their
country. Indeed, this is a priority for Lebanon that cannot be delayed,
despite the great compassion we have for humanitarian considerations.
The Palestinian Cause
We ardently support the efforts of the Palestinian Authority to reach a
final settlement based on the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by the Arab
summit in Beirut in 2002.
On this occasion, we reiterate our commitment to the right of return for
Palestinian refugees, and we refuse naturalization in Lebanon under any
Arab and International Legitimacy, and The Shebaa Farms
With regard to the Lebanese relationship with Arab and international
legitimacy, it should be noted that the President is required to respect
international legitimacy under the Constitution. In this context, elusion
or failure to fulfill Arab and international legitimacy represented by the
resolutions of the UN Security Council pose a threat to Lebanon. This
makes the country vulnerable to shocks; it will be a victim of negligence
and will face severe consequences. I also reiterate my full support to the
international Special Tribunal for Lebanon that seeks to establish truth
and justice. It is high time to put an end to the phenomenon of political
assassinations and impunity.
Facts have proven that the implementation of international resolutions is
inevitable, whatever the obstacles. I respect and adhere to international
resolutions pertaining to Lebanon, in particular resolutions 1559, 1680
and 1701. In this context, there is no other way but to apply international
laws concerning the delimitation and the demarcation of the borders
with Syria, and the resolution of the issues of the Shebaa Farms and
Therefore, I call on the Syrian government to sign a joint report which
recognizes that the Shebaa Farms are Lebanese. This report shall be sent
to the UN for international recognition, and to impose Israeli withdrawal
from the region.
The Lebanese government is solely responsible for the protection of
Lebanon and the Lebanese, and to respond to Israeli attacks of all kinds.
I will not in any way accept the stranglehold of the decision of the
government in this regard, nor in the decision of war or peace. The
government not only draws its strength from its army and security
forces, but also from its legitimate decision-making power and the
support of the Lebanese people, the Arab world and the International
Because I aspire to a country and a government, and I carry a project and
Because we all need a government that protects its citizens and watches
So that you may always have a country and a government that are
So that, with your children, you can enjoy a better future...
And that you may have a Presidency that accepts no compromise, free of
any weakness and forever unwavering...
I yearn for real, long-awaited democratic presidential elections that
could restore the trust of the Lebanese in Lebanon, and encourage them
to regain confidence in themselves and in their potential, if they act in
solidarity, without excluding anyone, to save Lebanon.
We all suffered the woes of many wars, the tragedies of tutelage and the
hegemony of weapons. I know and feel what you feel, if not more.
I am among those who were taken away from the classroom and into
war, when duty called to defend the land and the people. We faced
occupation and tutelage with tenacity, until death and detention... to
answer the call of freedom. Our brothers have defended the South,
where they were born and lived until they died or until they were
detained in Israeli prisons ... and they regained their freedom.
The world might not fully realize what we are doing here today, but it
can never forget the achievements of our predecessors, Bachir Gemayel,
Kamal Jumblatt, Imam Moussa al-Sadr, René Moawad, and Rafiq
Hariri, all the way to Mohammed Shatah, whose friendship and
martyrdom I cannot forget as long as I live.
Today, we are stand together to say that Lebanon deserves the best, and
that a President driven by the power of the Cedar Revolution and the
dream of the martyrs can only triumph ... and we will triumph!
Long live Lebanon !