We had an election of a new president on October 31, 2016 which ended two years and a half of a political vacuum and with this election, irrespective of the personal opinion of the people with respect to the process of election and the newly elected president of the Republic, there cannot be but the hope of a change, a needed one in a country that is scattered by deep wounds and unprecedented corruption on all levels since long, long time ago.
Although the prerogatives of the president of the Republic are not extensive as per the Lebanese constitution but the latter remains the only catalysis for all other institutions to push them to comply with their obligations towards the citizens.
Hence, if “the rules for life”, famously known as the “10 commandments” were to be revisited and adapted to the current Lebanese situation in 2016 and given by God to our newly elected president on the Mount of Lebanon, the following would constitute them:
- Take the garbage out of the streets, now!: The Lebanese have been dealing with the garbage crisis for more than a year now with no effective solution. Implement the eco-friendly means in order to take the country out of the garbage and the garbage out of the country with all its toxic consequences. Implement strict recycling rules starting from each house, affecting fines to the people who do not abide by such rules.
- Provide your citizen with 24/7 electricity, water and telecommunication: Your citizen are tired from paying double bills and from witnessing a lack of their 101 needs in terms of light and water. Implement long-term plans that will place Lebanon on the right path towards a country with sane infrastructures. Invest more in renewable energy. Also, make our calls and Internet costs more accessible.
- Campaign for a “once for all” electoral law: There is no country on earth in which one should hold his/her breath before each election in order to know which will be law according to which he/she will elect. Negotiate with all parties involved in the process and choose a representative electoral law. Also, allow and facilitate the voting of the Lebanese living abroad. This will guarantee the formation of a diversified parliament that represents all the Lebanese.
- Trust your army in order to protect the safety of the country: the region we live in is boiling and is living the hell in terms of war and terrorism. The Lebanese army proved that it does not belong to any religion or to any political party. It also gained so far the trust of the Lebanese people. Preserve it, support it, inject funds in it and avoid all neighboring conflicts, as much as possible.
- Reach out to the Lebanese diaspora and ensure a suitable environment for investment and aim for a-return-back-home policy: with the economy collapsing, your main target would be the Lebanese diaspora. Contact it, ask for its help and its trust, grant it the nationality and make it return for the country with projects, investments and hope for a better future.
- Reform our outdated laws. Adopt new ones. Enforce the existing ones: the labor law, the commercial law, the tax law, the investment law, access to information law, bankruptcy law etc. These laws (in addition to many others) are essential to align with the challenges we are facing and with the development in the region. Enforce the already existing one also (e.g. The constitution, the road laws and regulations, etc.).
- Provide for the basic human rights and protect the social justice: Civil marriage, equal access to justice, accountability of everyone who breaches the laws, grant of the nationality by the women to their children, the public sector restructuring and salaries, etc. should be amongst your priorities. After all, providing for the basic human rights will enhance the quality of living and the happiness of the citizens which will have an effect on the productivity and the development of the country.
- End the corruption in your public administration: Lebanese are suffering from the clientelism and corruption that exist in each and every public administration in the country: Starting with endless waiting-lines/chaos to complications in the process of delivering the service to the sudden solution upon receipt of the “tip”, the whole process should be revisited towards a more transparent/electronic one. Hold accountable each public servant that benefit from the corruption and from clientelism.
- Transform Lebanon into a regional business and services hub: we have all what it needs to make Lebanon a regional hub. The region is booming; Lebanon is not despite our tax-friendly environment, our legal system, our geographical asset, our love for life, our creativity and our hospitality.
- Love all your citizens, irrespective of their gender, ethnicities, beliefs and religion: Collaborate in ending the sectarian and clientelism mindset that is haunting all Lebanese since their early days. Make them lose the fear of the unknown and create an atmosphere in which the Lebanese would thrive for getting to know each other and for visiting all the regions. This will enhance their sense of citizenship and will make them more patriotic and less oligarchic-oriented.
Mr. President, I do not belong to any political party. All I know is that you have been elected for six years now. Act as a president for all and stick to the above-mentioned 10 commandments: prove your haters wrong, your lovers right and teach the indecisive ones what is wrong and what is right, for a better Lebanon, for a Lebanon that we all (still) dream of.