The “Emotional” Aoun and Taif Agreement

Taif is a Region in KSA but also its where the amendments on the Lebanese constitution happened that’s why it has the name of “Taif agreement”. Some politicians in Lebanon are linking Taif to the whole middle east and to the conflict with Iran, knowing that the Taif agreement emerged at a time when there was less Iranian influence. The political map changed since then and now it is going more aggressively into the Middle East arena, more so than the past when Iran wasn’t really searching to have more weapons and bigger army.

From this point we can understand why some have this “Geopolitical” position against the Taif agreement if we begin by searching the root of the conflict in Lebanon yet there is another “Emotional” reason behind “refusing” Taif, which is related to Aoun rather than Hezbollah.

When Taif was signed, Aoun was the PM and considered it to be an agreement that kicked him out of Lebanon. The agreement pushed him out of the political process in Lebanon. When he was closed out of the process, he considered himself a victim of Taif. Today, he can manipulate people and he is trying to manipulate his own party (FPM) through this argument. He is using it as a tool to gather people to lobby against Taif. His emotional status is one where he feels like he is a victim and is projecting this onto his political party. He is trying to expand his influence – and getting involved with doing a coalition with Hezbollah. His biggest concern is his own political career that he wants to expended to his family in the person of his daughters and husbands which on of them is sanctioned. So, with his “geopolitical” agreement with Hezbollah according this geopolitical interest of Hezbollah who is related to Iran that is in deep conflict with KSA and his “Victimization” Status since early 88 He’s making people go against the Taif agreement. As a result, he’s leading people so have an opinion regarding the “new constitution” as if itt is an agreement related to the conflict with Iran using it as a tactic to make people go against Taif. Noting that during the Social Revolution in Lebanon Aoun tried to convince people that he agreed with part of the Taif agreement and that he is compromising with the Lebanese population in themes related to secularism, new civil law but with time it became clear that This is just a tactic to manipulate since Hezbollah his ally is not on board with the idea of secularism. They used in 2015 when the first Revolution happened the same tactic as Aoun – they try to convince people they can compromise. They would discuss about certain things like Islam and it relation with Christianity in terms of social relations to exist in Lebanon and project that in the political process and parliament not further. This Discussion Is what Hezbollah want not only this “any” discussion is welcomed from any party, to sit down and discuss to grow their political network. Because when you discuss with them, they gain more time, and they know you more, and they study the political platform and figure out how they can get into the political platform like Aoun did. In the meanwhile, who ever you are are losing time and energy.

For that after making the picture clearer between the emotions and ambitions of Aoun and geopolitical strategy of Hezbollah related to Iran it will be good to have parties or allies in Lebanon that lobby and advocate and work together systematically to impose Taif on others.

Taif had a vision and was a result of the whole political process before it. There are solutions for sectarianism. They tried to cover all these points from the point of view at the time, when Iranian influence was smaller. There is no will to agree on every point today

Doha agreement that brought the Previous President Michel Suleiman to the head of the government tried to find solutions to  what some consider as a “problem” since Taif Agreement is related to KSA by separating Taif from Saudi Arabia maybe in that case some people will accept it.

Yet it’s not about the “Region of Taif” located in KSA it’s the whole structure in Lebanon that needs to be revised since anything related to laws go into a very slow process in Lebanon. Not only related to Taif. Indeed, the whole legal and political system is very slow. The thing is – how do we push parliament to pass laws? How do we push the political class? This is an arduous process. It’s not related to Taif so much as it is related to political will. The big question is for the next president how will calm manipulated Christians by Aoun that they feel Taif took power away from them, but they shouldn’t feel this way because Taif is secular.



About Rita Chahwan

ريتا بولس شهوان، صحافية وباحثة ساهمت في عدد من الكتب منها "الكويت وإرادة الاستقلال في الوثائق العثمانية" و "ماذا فعل مدحت باشا في الخليج"(ذات السلاسل) وعملت في عدد من الصحف والمواقع الالكترونية العربية. تلقت تدريبات دولية على الاستقصاء وتخصصت في الاستقصاء الاجتماعي – الاقتصادي كما تولي اهمية كبيرة للشأن السياسي.

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