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KT edit: Lebanon needs a makeover

Filed on September 1, 2020

Incompetence and corruption of its ruling elites have systematically corroded institutions and paralysed life

A hundred years can be a long time for a country to figure out a system of governance that works well for its people. Yet, Lebanon has been stumbling from one crisis to another, unsure of how to pick up the pieces and move forward. The political arrangement that first seemed a successful system of consensual democracy and religious co-existence has for long demonstrated its numerous flaws. And failed to come up to par. A mere change of administration will not fix the deep-seated political and economic problems. The country needs a systematic change. President Michel Aoun is right in calling for a proclamation of Lebanon as a secular state. There is an urgent need to introduce an element of meritocracy into government, one that is free of sectarian quotas. 

Incompetence and corruption of its ruling elites have systematically corroded institutions and paralysed life. Will the leaders push for reforms this time? Lebanon has long been at the mercy of its powerful neighbours. Currently, Hezbollah is the most powerful military and political force and serves the interests of Iran more than Lebanon. The appointment of Mustapha Adib as the new prime minister should help in coordinating with foreign donors as the country seeks to rebuild itself. But the real struggle would be to implement political and economic reforms which the international donors are calling for. The patronage system has to go if Lebanon wants to make any meaningful change. But it won't be easy. Nothing worth doing is.

 


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