| 30 May 2024, Thursday |

Presidential words, on “words are for free” basis.

Whenever a President speaks, i.e. President of a Republic, his words are supposed to have an impact on public opinion and the political course of his country, but when his words become a matter of repetition and no one cares about it, it is called “words are for free”
President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, told Al Jazeera: “I will leave Baabda Palace at the end of my term, but if Parliament decides for me to stay, I will stay.”
The President of the Republic knows very well that this statement calls for an amendment to the constitution that would allow him to “stay,” but he knows also that most parliamentary blocs, with the exception of the “Strong Lebanon Bloc,” which is his, and the one of Hezbollah’s, reject this proposal and are “waiting for the hour,” as it is said, for his term to end and leaves Baabda Palace.
If the president knew that, why did he say this? Is it because “words are for free”? Does he want to open Presidential Bazar with President Berri, who owns the keys of the Parliament , and its sessions?
One of the disappointments of President Aoun’s era was that he could not reach an understanding with the Speaker of the Parliament, while he was relying on this understanding a lot to pave the way for his “political heir,” Minister Gobran Bassil, to reach the Presidency of the Republic, but the Speaker of Parliament refused the arrival of General Aoun to Baabda, so how will he accept Basil’s arrival? What is well-known, is Speaker Berri’s comment on not electing General Aoun when he said on that day: I do not want to elect two presidents: Aoun and Bassil.
“Words are for free,” are words President Aoun previously said, to a local newspaper, about two weeks ago, as well as about the presidential elections file, and the specifications that the next president is required to have, noting that his words are only classified as “heretical,” for it is not the President’s job to specify the specifications of his successor, as this is the job of the Lebanese constitution, so has he appointed himself in the place of the constitution?
The President of the Republic appears to be playing “solo”, but solo playing has its rules, otherwise it will turn into an abnormal playing.
But the question that arises is: Why did President Aoun decide to rely on President Berri, and not on Hezbollah? Hezbollah, in 2016, had vetoed all the candidates, except for Aoun, which allowed him to reach the Baabda Palace, so why is it putting the ball today in President Berri’s playground , when he knows that the Speaker of Parliament refuses the extension?
The president is maneuvering, especially as “ words are for free.”