Suleiman election will end political bickering, hope Lebanese expats

DUBAI — Yesterday was a special day in the life of Lebanese people, in general, and the Dubai-based Lebanese expatriates, in particular. Army chief Gen. Michel Suleiman was finally elected as President of Lebanon after more than six months of political wranglings.

By Mary Nammour (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Mon 26 May 2008, 8:59 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:13 PM

Lebanese youth living in Dubai hoped Gen. Suleiman’s presidency would usher in a new chapter of hope, stability and prosperity in the country. Some of them, however, feared that the overnight consensus reached in Doha was just a temporary solution and political bickering would resurface shortly.

Chady Izzedine, sales manager in a car company, hailed the election of Gen. Suleiman. “I think the consensus which was reached in Doha is a temporary solution for political disputes deeply rooted in the structure of our state. I am totally in favour of the new president. Hopefully, he will not disappoint the Lebanese people. It is time security and prosperity reigned over our beloved country so that all the Lebanese overseas could go back and settle down there.”

Watching Formula One for Maher Yassine was by far more interesting than keeping a close watch on what was happening in Lebanon. Maher, operations manager in a private company, thought the election of the president would finally put Lebanon on the right track again.

“People who are not interested in a stable Lebanon would surely oppose the new president and try to create hurdles. It is good that foreign leaders and statesmen attended the voting session.”

Since Maher has spent most of his life away from Lebanon he was optimistic that good things were awaiting Lebanon. “I am keeping my fingers crossed that situation would be calm from now on and I wish I could be back home with my family. I was born in Kuwait and I have been in Dubai for just six months. I hope we will be able to go back whenever possible.”

Jihad Adnan, photographer, seemed a bit pessimistic about the election of an army officer as president. “We had a tough and bitter experience when we had Emile Lahoud as president. I am personally neutral and I don’t belong to any political group but I prefer a non-military person to be at the helm of affairs in Lebanon. I am afraid we might soon face a tense situation.”

“Suleiman will be okay as long as he is compatible with the opposition and Hezbollah,” opined Paul Chakhtoura, exhibition organiser.

Paul, who was busy watching the news, believes Lebanon’s problems have been sorted out for a short while at least. “Deputy Michel Aoun had given up his run-up for presidency in return for electing a president by consensus. This is a remarkable day for all Lebanese,” he added.

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