The National Bloc released the following statement:
Yet another disappointing scene run by the “change deputies” yesterday in parliament towards every Lebanese that has been betting on their ability to change from within the institutions.
If this scene is alarming and shows much disdain for the 300,000 “voters for change” in Lebanon, the reasons behind it also raise serious question marks about the abilities of some to lead a complex political battle. The deputies must now be asked about their options.
It is true that we perceive the 13 deputies as “obvious” allies, but for the sake of the common interest, we ask them to announce their clear position on the presidential initiative that raised the hopes of the Lebanese, for the arrival of a reformist and sovereign president who is able to unite the Lebanese around his person and his project.
It is also wise for responsibility not to be generalized, for it to stay focused. The question that arises here is about dropping names outside the consensus of the 13, and outside the list of three names that were agreed upon. And the most urgent question regards the reasons for putting forward the names of personalities (with excellent characteristics such as Issam Khalifeh or Salim Edde) who are unwilling to run and who have been forced into an awkward position lately.
The absence of seriousness and methodology towards the people who were known to be unwilling to run, is what has weakened the initiative today and made the “change deputies” lose their ability to participate in choosing the next president of the republic.
Today, “revolutionary purism” is no longer useful, and all deputies are required to make every effort to elect a new president who keeps pace with people’s aspirations, and who transcends divisions, so they be the key to the healthy functioning of constitutional institutions, freeing them from the concept of quotas.
Naming personalities who are unwilling to run is an escape from politics and responsibility; it is hiding behind the guise of populism and the great moral and social capital of both Salim Edde and Issam Khalifeh.
The questions are many. But the two most important ones are:
Is anyone trying to contain the 13 deputies within certain boundaries, so that they are satisfied with futile media parades and clashes in front of ministries?
Does emptying the presidential initiative of its content, aim to leave the chance for sectarian parties to negotiate and agree on a president, while the “change deputies” remain prisoners of populist bidding?
The solution at this moment is to refrain from aligning with any of the sectarian forces, regardless of the type of candidates they put forward, and to restore the presidential initiative and stick to the three names that have the standards required for the next president.
And if the initiative has reached a dead end, then it must be admitted and clearly declared.