Laval, Canada - May 01, 2003

A new government and the democratic process 

RCPL finds the newly appointed cabinet a dangerous initiative that raises many concerns about the democratic process in the Lebanese political system, and creates a precedent. Several indicators of unhealthy and non-transparent democratic process confirm these concerns, mainly: 


the speed with which the government was formed


the disputes between political figures to nominate their representatives in the new government


the presence of a large number of relatives within the same cabinet

This highlights that, once more, there were no free elections but designations and nominations behind closed doors, controlled by political clans or personal interests.
The decision-makers appear to be the significant pro-Syrian players in Lebanon, who split the Cabinet positions among their loyalists and relatives. This process creates clans, blocking any possibility for reforms, and prevents the Cabinet from fulfilling its mandate, thus establishing roots for a non-democratic political system.

RCPL calls the newly appointed cabinet to demonstrate transparency through real democratic political practices. This can be done by taking concrete steps towards the elimination of human rights abuses and media muzzling carried out by the previous governments, more specifically with regards to the file of the Lebanese detainees in Syrian jails and to the shutdown of MTV and Radio Mont Liban. Lebanon needs to return to its state of beacon of light and freedom that has always distinguished it from all surrounding countries.

We also urge our Canadian government to closely work with the new Lebanese government, and encourage the latter to respect human rights and to abide by the democratic values.

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