Lebanese expats upset over Ghanem’s murder

DUBAI — The Lebanese community in Dubai has expressed shock and anger over the killing of Lebanese MP Antoine Ghanem in Beirut, a few days before the presidential elections.

By Mary Nammour

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Published: Fri 21 Sep 2007, 9:42 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:12 AM

Tareq F, public relations officer, alleged that the terrorist attacks that have taken place since 2005 had targeted prominent politicians and journalists, “all of whom belonged to the anti-Syria majority.”

“With the presidential elections less than a week from now, they are trying to decrease the number of the deputies representing the majority in the parliament. It is a well-studied plan aimed at affecting the elections directly. The majority in the parliament has the right to choose the president as per the constitution. All the explosions and terrorist attacks were designed to destabilise Lebanon and eliminate leaders who had the potential to effect a dramatic change towards democracy in the country.”

Rabie Mudallaly, production manager in a pre-cast concrete company, too, looked upset with the blodshed. “We really hope that this series of brutal killings comes to an end. We hope this assassination does not delay or affect the elections in any way. In my view, there are external powers which have great interest in turning Lebanon into a conflict zone. I fear this attack might have critical consequences on the chances of internal parliamentary consensus on the choice of the president.”

Fadi el Zoughbi, consultant engineer, said each time before any major event is to take place in Lebanon an act of terrorism targets civilians, prominent statesman or journalists.

“We were kind of expecting that some politician might be assassinated or an explosion might take place. Lebanon has been transformed into a theatre of fighting by some external powers. Definitely, Ghanem’s killing won’t delay the parliamentary vote. It may, however, affect the possibilities of consensus between the opposition and the pro-government parties,” El Zoughbi said.

Paul Chakhtoura, exhibition contractor, believes the assassination is part of a string of attacks to destabilise Lebanon’s security. “I think it is a game masterminded by America. They chose this particular timing to affect the process of electing a president for the country. I think this attack may have a negative impact on the democratic process. The parliament will meet on September 25 but the deputies will take longer time to agree on one person to lead Lebanon. So it will take more than just two sessions to reach a consensus on one president.”

Lebanon’s parliament is due to meet on September 25 to elect a successor for Syrian-backed President Emile Lahoud.

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