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  • prequel

    "Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.” -Jane Perrone, The Guardian

    Thursday, January 17, 2008  
    It’s been almost two months since the last president of Lebanon ended his term.
    There have been twelve unsuccessful attempts by parliament to elect a successor to Emile Lahoud who vacated the presidential palace at midnight on Friday 23rd November 2007.
    Just like the Nepalese parliament recently voted to abolish the monarchy, it appears that the Lebanese parliament has indirectly ‘’voted’’ to abolish the presidency by not voting to elect a president.
    The entire international community has been harassing us to elect a president for months (Lebanon is the ‘’biggest’’ small country in the world), most recently harassing the opposition to accept a constitutional amendment to allow the current army chief to become president.
    The United States and its lackey the United Nations obviously sees no irony in making the Lebanese parliament amend their constitution through foreign (Western) pressure after they boycotted Emile Lahoud for three years because his term was extended by a constitutional amendment allegedly imposed by foreign (Syrian) pressure.
    Despite being on ‘‘iggy’’ for three years, President Lahoud left office with his head held high and was defiant to the very end.
    If anyone can sing ‘’My Way’’ at a karaoke bar it is Emile Lahoud, who a supporter claimed was more powerful than Adolf Hitler because he, unlike Hitler, managed to prevail against the whole world.
    Although we haven’t had a president for two months, the executive branch of government has not been idle would that it was.
    Prime Minister Siniora’s cabinet has been acting as the executive branch in a so-called caretaker capacity since.
    Pretty busy caretakers I would say.
    Last I heard, they had signed some seven hundred bills that President Lahoud had refused to sign because he did not recognize their government as being legitimate after all the Shiite Ministers (and one Orthodox thrown in for good luck) resigned in November 2006.
    I’d hate so see what they’d do if they weren’t acting in a caretaker capacity.
    At least half the Lebanese couldn’t wait to see the back of Prime Minister Siniora and now they’re stuck with him as prime minister and president too.
    Siniora says that he can’t resign now because there is no president for him to tender his resignation to (as required by the constitution) yet he is the effective president and is usurping the role of the president with such gusto.
    Why doesn’t he just pass his resignation from his left hand to his right hand (or vice versa)?
    I’m not constitutional lawyer but I reckon that that ought to do it.
    Lebanon is the land of irony and the land of ironic firsts.
    The Lebanese government is the only government I know of in history to blame the opposition for the countries problems.
    This is despite their having been in power since July 2005 or should I say in power in this incarnation since July 2005 because Rafic Hariri, whose son Saad is now parliamentary majority leader, was prime minister for most of the post-war era and Foaud Siniora was his finance minister.

    Meanwhile, it’s been a cold yet relatively dry winter.
    Annual rainfall to date is two hundred millimetres as compared to three hundred millimetres at the same time last year.
    Which gets me to worrying about possible ‘’drought’’.
    Water supplies here are dodgy at the best of times even during floods (water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink) so one can only imagine what they’d be like during a drought.
    The private water sector isn’t much better.
    The tank jockey who fills up our water tanks at an exorbitant rate when we’re out of mains water apparently won’t come if it’s raining but waits for it to stop raining.
    Water is his job!
    If I can go for a walk in the rain in a waterproof suit than surely he can get one too and do his job.

    8:30 am

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