Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

“Written agreements” in Lebanon… towards a shift in political behaviour?

Posted by worriedlebanese on 02/02/2007

Aoun and Frangieh signed a document yesterday they described as being a pact of honour in which they vowed to refrain from using a certain language in their political communication, in accordance with the recommandations made by the Maronite Church.
I failled miserably to find a copy of this document to check its content. The Orient Le Jour and Daily Star chose not to publish the agreement, and I couldn’t find it on the Lebanese National News service or even the FPM’s site (www.tayyar.org). All I could find were comments praising it or mocking it. 

What have they exactly agreed on? Knowing that a signed political agreement binds only those who have signed it, and knowing that Sleiman Frangieh and Michel Aoun have been political allies since 2005, what can be expected of this pact of honour? They have been overly cordial to each others for two years now… so this pact will have no incidence on the way they communicate with each others publicly. What about the way they communicate with their foes? How can one expect that they comply with an agreement and extend it to those who haven’t signed it?

Needless to say that the signing of the honour pact is not of much importance in itself, because its effects are null. On the other hand it is an interesting precedent because it formalises an agreement on principles and puts it in written form. The FPM had made a similar step with Hezbollah over a year ago and that had caught the political class off guard. What’s more, the content of the previous pact was heavily publicised. This enhances its binding power because it makes the parties to it accountable toward the public that is enpowered by the knowledge of what exactly the politicians have agree on. Unfortunately, that of the present pact has not been publicised at all.

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