Friday, May 04, 2007

Michel Aoun Debate: First Draft

Some Introductory Words
I have prepared a draft document of questions that could be put FPM leader and 2007 (perennial?) presidential candidate Michel Aoun as part of a joint campaign to try and bring real debate to the run up to Lebanon's 2007 Presidential Elections.

My biggest concern now is that this initiative be viewed as a non-biased one. After all, it is no secret that this blog (as with most other blogs) has strong views with respect to this candidate and others who will join the race.

To that effect, I want to make it clear, that all posts tagged with the label Presidential Elections 2007 will not be a reflection of this blog's views but a representation of an unbiased effort to obtain real answers to the questions and issues facing the Lebanese nation today.

I am not averse to dedicating a 'neutral' blog to this pursuit, one in which all those who have shown their interest in this pursuit (so far including, but not limited to, Josey Wales, R, and Failasoof) will be contributors. So if that is everyone's preference that is the direction we will take.

To get things going however, the first draft will be posted on this blog.

FPM Candidate Michel Aoun: First Draft
  • If you are elected President, what will be your first priority, and how - in detail - will you address that issue?
  • In the past you have clearly stated your opposition to the Taef Accord, more recently (May 1st, 2007) you called for the Lebanese President to be elected directly by the people if Parliament is not convened. Your call for direct elections did not make any mention of the formulas for sectarian balance called for in the Taef, and incarnate in the Parliament. Given that your Parliamentary bloc is large enough to garner the two-thirds majority vote needed to convene a Parliamentary session, how do you reconcile your advocacy, and in fact direct implementation of extra-institutional positions in Lebanon, with the requirement that Lebanon's President adhere to the Taef and the Lebanese Constitution in the support or the country's institutions?
  • What is your position on current governmental plans to privatize EDL?
  • In referring to Syria, you have - since your return to Lebanon in the spring of 2005 - called for an amelioration of the Syria-Lebanese relationship, how would you go about pursuing such a reconciliation?


  1. -Might I suggest that the questions/questionnaire be the same for all candidates/parties? [Simpler, and avoids accusations of bias, 10 questions or less]

    -IMHO, no need for another blog, it should be clear that the questions are open to change and are meant for all candidates.

    Finally a question, you say (to Aoun):
    Given that your Parliamentary bloc is large enough to garner the two-thirds majority vote...

    That can't be right(?)

  2. Given that your Parliamentary bloc is large enough to garner the two-thirds majority conjunction with the M14 bloc :P

    OK, making it the same for all of them makes sense. My only worry is that in doing so one has to allow for more generality in the questions, and therefore in the answers as well. I thought that by addressing each candidate's specific circumstances we would be able to avoid generic answers and get some details. But it is a thin line to walk.

  3. What is your position on current governmental plans to privatize EDL?
    Why specifically EDL? What about privatization in general. There are talks about privatizing the water resources too.

    Ten general outline questions that could later be customized to suit every candidate is a good idea.

    If you could get your hand on the TV program (LBC, 90's) that the late Gibran Tueini made, in which he interviewed presidential candidates on key issues and in which viewers voted in a sort of polling. I forgot the name of the program. BTW Nassib Lahoud got the highest ratings then. It will be great lead to the type of questions and issues to tackle.

    And I don't think another (neutral) blog is necessary.

  4. Great suggestions Moussa, I'll try to get something going along those lines soon.

    If anyone else has any suggestions on questions/issues that should be brought up or the general format please don't hesitate.

  5. I think there should be "general" questions addressed to all candidates, as well as two or three "specific" ones for each of them.

    The general ones would be mainly focused about: Economic plan, HA Arsenal, Relations with Syria, Shebaa Farms, Tribunal, Electoral law, Constituation and Lebanese presoners in Syria. I for one don't care "who" is the next president as long as he would address these issues properly.

    As for Aoun, specific questions would be:
    1)Would your campaigne against corruption reach parties that are your allies, like HA, Amal, Marada,...etc?

    2) Given the fact that big parties in the country (Future, PSP, Left Democratic, Kataeb, LF, Lebanese Bloc,....etc) are not supporting you as the next president, what is your appraoch in dealing with them, and how would it be different than Lahoud's era?

  6. My thoughts are along the lines of failasoof.

    There should be list of questions (perhaps 2 for each catagory) that cover specific areas of concern that pertain to the Presidential office.

    Economy (privatization,taxes,job reform),Constitution (amendments?, support?), International Relations (trade treaties, International agreement compliance International relations), Pending Legislation(Tribunal ratification,Constitutional Council,Electoral Law)Corruption (what exactly is your plan, focus on today or on the past) Unity (explain how you will pull everyone together, how you will facilitate the business of running the country, why you will be the best person to be a liaison between all the political factions )

    IMO - the last 2 are very important.

    There could be questions (carefully thought out as to be non-biased) that would address a 'known' aspect of each candidates platform but I tend to think that questions should be equal to all candidates and make them respond to the 'peoples' concerns and not 'their' agenda.

  7. Anonymous1:51 AM

    Aoun clown will never become president, mark my word, NEVER

  8. Maybe yes, Maybe no

    But that is not what we are talking about here. We are talking about a Presidential program and questions to present to those who would be President of Lebanon


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