Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Presidential Leak

In previous analyses, I've argued that Riad Salameh, Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon, shouldn't be considered as a candidate for the Presidency given that his appointment as such would require a constitutional amendment.

Well guess what...

...according to the Daily Star, recently 'leaked' information suggests that the Governor's position places him outside the realm of public officialdom, thereby granting him abstention from constitutional regulations on holders of public office in regard to the Presidency.

According to the paper,
...many observers have argued that like another potential candidate, army commander General Michel Suleiman, the Central Bank chief is a "first-rank civil servant" and therefore ineligible for the presidency in the absence of a rule change like that made for Emile Lahoud in 1998.

According to an unrelated 1993 ruling by the Labor Arbitration Council however, the very nature of Salameh's position grants him autonomy and means that he is not classified as a public official.
The decision stemmed from a case brought by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), which argued that Salameh was not entitled to its regular end-of-service package, which generally consists of one month's salary for each year worked.

The council ruled in favor of the NSSF, finding that since both Salameh and his deputies required full independence from political influence to do their jobs, they should not be regarded as public officials.
The article also contained endorsements of the Central Banker by executives throughout the country's banking industry.

Meanwhile, the country's Parliamentary majority (i.e. members of the Syrian target-practice club) convened in Parliament today while their counterparts in the opposition (i.e. members of the "lets wait 'til the Syrians kill off the other guys and we become the majority" club) exchanged militia-training-tips in the hallways of the legislature. All of this to say, of course, that our Presidential electoral process was kicked off today and that nothing was accomplished.

My analysis-strike continues... I leave you with Abu Kais, Jeha, Mustapha, and Tony Bey.


  1. why the analysis strike?

  2. Good point.

    Now I would expect to see some "Bank al Madina" stories appearing soon.

  3. I wonder... In any case, does anyone know of any ties Salameh might have to the regime in Syria ?

  4. Hey Mustapha,

    I guess its a personal thing...anger if you want. It started with the Shaker el Absi disappearance (I'm inclined to follow Jeha's thinking on such things - the Syrians will kill him, then they'll kill the people who killed him and bury all their dirty secrets along with them), got compounded by the "noise" surrounding presidential elections, and finally got capped with the ridiculousness of the "Berri initiative".

    My brain refused to lend itself to any endeavour related to the political scene. I was left with my anger, frustration and, as a result, many a rant standing idly by in draft form. So it was either rants or silence.

    I chose silence.


    What can I say other than...yup!

  5. Arabic Coffee Pot8:18 AM

    Like Jeha mentioned, the Bank al Medina fiasco happened under his watch. Before, he was considered a Rafic Hariri protege. Also, the central bank itself is heavily penetrated by Syria's men, especially through Murr... all in all, nothing too great if you ask me!

  6. Salameh is at best Elias Sarkis redux and we know how that went.

    At worst who knows? I hear he is honest and that in the Medina mess the Syrians told him: close the investigation, it's better for your health.

    The HILARIOUS thing about the above story is that after trampling on the constitution daily our local morons worry about minutiae like this crap. Oh! His pension is slightly different so we have the fine print necessary to elect him???

  7. "The council ruled in favor of the NSSF, finding that since both Salameh and his deputies required full independence from political influence to do their jobs, they should not be regarded as public officials."

    The utter backwardness of using this ruling to prove that Salameh can run for presidency is mind boggling. The reason why first-grade public servants cannot run for presidency is to give them the independence from political influence. If anything, this is an argument in favour of considering Salameh ineligible.

  8. Arabic Coffee Pot4:08 PM

    "The HILARIOUS thing about the above story is..."

    Good point Josey!


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