16.11.06

General Aoun lessons...


General Aoun gave us, a few days ago, a lesson in the constitutionality of PM Siniora’s government, after the resignation of six ministers including all the shiia ministers. I feel that Aoun is not the persons to teach others about such issues, taking into account his own history…

In 1988, in the wee hours of Amine Gemayel presidency, as no agreement on the next president was reached, Amin Gemayel appointed General Aoun to head an interim government, formed of six ministers (him included) three Muslims and three Christians, vested with the combined powers of the president and the council of ministers.

Shortly afterwards, the three Muslims ministers resigned and Aoun insisted on his government's constitutionality and stayed in office (as an interim Prime Minster) for two additional years.

Compared to day situation it is clear how objective is Genral Aoun's lesson...

35 Comments:

At Thursday, November 16, 2006 6:36:00 PM, Blogger hillz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Thursday, November 16, 2006 6:37:00 PM, Blogger hillz said...

you skipped amin el gmayyil's actions back then ..

 
At Thursday, November 16, 2006 6:45:00 PM, Blogger BOB said...

no i did not

That guy made many mistakes when he was president...

But again everytime i post on an issue you choose to comment on another.

For once i would like to hear your direct opnion on what i said, and then if you want to discuss any other issue i would be more than happy to offer my comments...

 
At Thursday, November 16, 2006 6:57:00 PM, Blogger hillz said...

u mean by other topics those irrelevant to HA and his allies a.k.a. topics that touch march 14's members' clean history?
what matters ya bob that you select topics (well same toics everytime) and you totally discard others, and then you talk about double standards..

(by the way i quoting u by using the "double standards" phrase so don't throw the "personal attacks" accusation again..)

btw, why didn't u come out by that ongoing 90s hariri governments examples? assuming that the christians were not rightfully represented in it?("syrian christians" as march 124 calls them were only represented).

 
At Thursday, November 16, 2006 7:11:00 PM, Blogger BOB said...

No

And this is getting tiresome.
I just said Amin Gemial made a lot of mistakes and I stated again and again that march the 14th history are not “all clean”

Pff, at least read what I write.

so let us sort this clean thing outbefore i answer your other points

 
At Thursday, November 16, 2006 8:22:00 PM, Blogger Lazarus said...

guys,

this type of discussion has been going on for days right now, and i must say that it is unbelievable unconstructive. person A mentions point 1 and person B argues by discussing point 2 and then person A chimes in again by going back to point 3 and then person C jumps in and talks about point 4 ... ad infinitum ... and all the while point 1 has been forgotten.

it must be said that this is reflective of the government ... go figure.

-l.

 
At Thursday, November 16, 2006 9:16:00 PM, Blogger Frank said...

I have been travelling Lebanon for a few days and will put lots of pics on my blog. Please check out http://altidass.blogspot.com/

Best regards Frank Hesjedal

 
At Thursday, November 16, 2006 10:19:00 PM, Blogger BOB said...

exactly Laz
and if i say that this is off topic i got accused of double standards and worse...

as if when i have to speak about Aoun i have to also write about amin gemyal and other faults in 14th of march. I just raised a point that Aoun is the last one to speak about the consituality of a goverment i have to say that some of the 14th of March are corrupt... go figure

PS: taking into consideration that i said it many time that i conced that 14th of march leaders are not virgins, some of them stole and other killed...
However the other side refuse to admit any wrong doing at all

 
At Thursday, November 16, 2006 11:02:00 PM, Blogger Hassan said...

Bob,

A little homework for all of us. Do you have any more clues about the constitutional article stating that all sects should be present in the cabinet?

Was it introduced in the Taef agreement (after the 1988 incident)? I think it was, like most other sectarian points in the constitution, then Aoun was (and is) acting according to the constitution.

 
At Thursday, November 16, 2006 11:37:00 PM, Blogger Lazarus said...

hassan,

the point you mention with regards to the sectarian clause is correct

however, in the original constitution, the following is stipulated:

"the government is considered resigned in the following circumstances:
a. ...
b. if it loses more than a third of the members specified in the decree forming it;
c. ...
..."

and thus, unless i missed something, the government aoun decided to keep alive should have been considered resigned, because half of the members left.

 
At Thursday, November 16, 2006 11:50:00 PM, Blogger BOB said...

both points are correct

the point regarding the "common living" which translate into secterian quotas was added after taef.

However it was always an unwritten point just like the president is marnoite, the pm is....

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 12:14:00 AM, Blogger francois said...

"However it was always an unwritten point just like the president is marnoite, the pm is...."

where u re also wrong is that at that time, this deal wasnt written, first point
the second point is that this oral aggreement stated that the head of the executive had to be maronite, by default as the president chair was consitutionnally empty, this head being the PM, the PM had to be maronite.
cqdf

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 12:22:00 AM, Blogger francois said...

Moreover,at that time the circunstances were exceptional but since you guys from the 14 of march made meetings with lahoud as president, today the circunstances are different maybe not as exceptional as the autority of the state somehow exists, and since taëf agreement, which is a bad agreement stuck the constitutional position on secterian bases, 2 questions to arise
1- as you consider lahoud as president, therefore you should respect his constitutional roles ie in the international tribunal
2- in case you re not considering lahoud as president, since his seat is empty, you should propose a christian as PM till the appointment of a new president and therefore replace saniora ;)

in both ways, if you re arising bob this question you re stuck into the same problems ;)

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 12:32:00 AM, Blogger BOB said...

my dear francois

Youmay have understood me wrong i was not arguing about the fact that Aoun took the PM seat, no i was arguing that his goverment (made up of six minsters) had half its memebers resigne.

And this is unconstitutional in two ways:
1- the pre taef constitution although did not specify that the council of Minster should be half the unwritten national accord did . And if you are arguing that the fact it was not written then it means it was not anti constitutional then if i follow your logic the next president does not have to be a maronit neither does the PM have to be a sunni. And further on the next parliamentary session does not have to have a quorum of two third (as it is not written thus in the constitution) so be careful if you want to abolish the unwritten national accord.

2- the pre taef constitution also stated that if more than a third of ministers resigned than the council of Ministers has to resign as a whole and in Aoun government half of it resigned (thx to Lazurus for pointing this out)
So if you disagree with the first point you can't argue with this one

Bottom line Aoun's government was anit-constitutional so he might spare us his comment on PM SIniora's constitutionality.

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 1:09:00 AM, Blogger francois said...

dear bob
first of all to resign, u need first to accept the charge of the ministry. here the ministers didnt accept, the problem at that time were different and outside the scope of the situation you re describing.
Moreover, u can arguying on the unconstitutionality of aoun gouvernment as his government didnt have the confidence of the parliament, due of course to the special circunstances of that time which makes all the difference.
but hoss' governement mandate was over with amine gemayel presidential mandate, aoun's nomination as head of the governement, meaning as PM the minutes before the end of amine's mandate is legal, therefore 2 things
1 his government was against the constitution
2 but his mandate as PM was inside the legal framework of the constitution as also inside the terms of the unwritten national aggreement about the repartitions of the seats

anyway this is history and our problems now are nowadays, the situation at that time was different and if it comes to my own point of view, i would consider all the decisions made from 90 till now as illegal because of the syrian accaparation of the lebanese autority.
by consequence
it s as we are saying in french, "un cas par abus d'autorité" which incluse the use of violence to reach its objective, and the syrians abused by all means the lebanese to reach their occupation objectives, which incluses taef aggrement, hraou mandate, hariri's nomination as PM, our fucking 41 billions dollars debts which is going to sink our economy next year etc...
of course now the reality btw 90 to today has changed and we need to cope with nowadays realities and not with history.

sweet dreams ;)

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 1:22:00 AM, Blogger BOB said...

good if we have to give up the past i totaly agree with you.
just don;t bring up the past everytime critisize le general. Let us try to work for a solution form now on.

So what kind of solution do you offer?

I favor this agreement on the international tribunal (pass it by the parliament and the president), and then agreement on a neutral president then interim council of minsters (mikati is good at this) and an early election.

what do you think

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 1:27:00 AM, Blogger BOB said...

Regarding your explanation, i am only talking about the constitutionality of Aoun government regarding the presence or not of all sects. Even if they did not resign his government (because it did not contain all sects, as demanded by unwritten national accords and jurisprudence) was unconstitutional.

Now if there are other points that renders it also unconstitutional all the better. But I am only arguing this point. And I realize that no two historical occurrences are identical but there are many parallels that cannot be denied.

Goodnight and sweet dreams to you too

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 1:29:00 AM, Blogger Hisham said...

Person A killed person B's wife... enslaved his children... and took his home... Person B killed person A...

BOB's take on the matter: "Person B killed person A"

BOB: this is not a comment about another issue, this is a comment about your blog, please do not read past this point in case you are not able to understand that... iterate as much as needed...

Aoun's actions at that point were the direct result of the circumstances... namely an outgoing president trying to hang on to power... Syrian occupation of most of the Lebanese soil with 40,000 troups,and Syrian hegemony over the Lebanese politics... Israeli occupation of the south... as well as a collection of Christian, Druze, and Muslim militias that now constitute the majority of the "walord-based March 14 """"anti-syrian"""" alliance"...

The Muslim areas at that point were under direct Syrian control, much like what was the case when the "so courageous" "March 14 """"anti-syrian"""" alliance" extended for the current president... Furthermore at that time the members of the above mentioned alliance were commiting crimes against humanity... which I believe they should be held accountable for... and thus Geagea should have never been removed from prison, but instead many of that alliance should have joined...

Questioning the legitimacy of Aoun's government at that time is futile, and in words very much connected with your posts and comments "childish and illogical"

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 10:36:00 AM, Blogger francois said...

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At Friday, November 17, 2006 10:43:00 AM, Blogger francois said...

completly right with hisham

bob, at that time, unwritten rules were not automatic rules, therefore aoun was having the choice or not to apply it, by default since the people he wanted to appoint refused, (they didnt resign) he had to what was possible to do at the time.
The secterian framework on the appointement of seats by community is now written with the taef aggrement, and not in the 1980's, which makes all the difference.

second u re asking me about the international tribunal, i ll tell u that i m currently against the way this tribunal is build up for the reasons i ll state below:
1- we fighted for our independance, this tribunal would have been a fabulous exemple to the whole world that the lebanese justice is independant in case the tribunal was lebanese. The international tribunal somehow legitimates the view that we didnt reach our sovereignty and therefore put in parenthesis all what we, as all those that striked and fighted for last year in 2005.
2- I am having a problem for the international character of the tribunal in the view of the charges. We are building up an international tribunal for the death of one main guy and 21 others as if we dont really really consider them to be as victims
3- Also i m against this international tribunal as i m also thinking that we need to establish an international tribunal to judge all the murderers of the 100 000 victims of the civil war. However we passed this unfortunate law of amnisty.
This law of amnisty on the other side cannot be applied on the international level, what happened in lebanon during the civil war entails the international justice to act against the war criminals we are still blindly following here:
we had cases of ethnical cleaning in the chouf for exemple, we got mass murders and massacres since 1976 and i wont state the villages in the north of lebanon, in the chouf, in the south of lebanon, in beirut where the population was killed, where the kids were killed, where the women were raped.
I am not against an amnisty but to be able to forgive, the murderers should first recognise their crimes.
We did not pass through all the processes that allow the lebanese population to really coexist again since the civil war, people did not forgive, the crimes were just absoluted on the judicial level.
We can easily consider this crimes during the civil was as genocide, as crimes against the humanity but it s like if the lebanese population has no memory.

For theses reasons, I am bothered by international tribunal as i am seeing on this concept the illustration of the lebanese judicial system failure and also as a failure of the state to show lebanon is sovereign.

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 1:44:00 PM, Blogger BOB said...

ok first thing first

Hisham

As always your degrading comments are a mirror of your moral standing and intellectual integrity...

Now let see your analogy from a legal framework.
No matter what are the circumstances killing is killing? However there are mitigating factors, which does not remove the accusation of killing but only lessen the punishment.

Aoun faced all these circumstance, i totally agree, however this does not negate the fact that his actions were anti constitutional.

Now Francois

i told you once and i tell now, the unwritten agreement is as strong as the constitution, it was thus then and it still now. The Taef did not change anything regarding the power of the unwritten national agreement it just put some of it into writing. And I repeat your reasoning is dangerous because if you believe that "at that time, unwritten rules were not automatic rules" then this must still apply because nothing was said in the atef agreement about unwritten rules (except putting some of them into writing)

So if you want to say that unwritten rules were not automatic rules then you will regret this in a couple of moth when the issue of the president elections comes up and Aoun/HA will argue that the quorum for the parliament to elect a president should be two third (an unwritten rule) and i will dig up your comment and face you with it...

Finally i agree with al what you said about war crimes and crimes against humanity. On one condition if there is to be any judgment or inquiry it should relate to all sides and should be a very fair and objective one. And whatever it decid i will agree on. But what i will refuse is to accuse one side while ignoring the crimes (if any) of the other side. Knowing fully that Geagea and Joumblatt are the ones with the most blood on their hands...but that does not innocent anyone else...

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 2:44:00 PM, Blogger Hassan said...

Lazarus,

Yaani quantity w quality.
You are right.

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 3:36:00 PM, Blogger march14yuppi said...

Bob,
Just for the sake of the argument I will assume the circumstances back then were exactly the same as today.
The conclusion you arrive to is one possibility, but not necessarily the only possibility.

For example, one can argue based on the premise you present that Aoun is speaking from an "I tried it before and even though I was convinced it was for the best (like siniora is today) I can assure you that government cannot work" perspective, so he is the only one in a position to "teach others about such issues" since he tried it before :-)

I am not going to argue that, just point out that your conclusion is one of many possible, depending on where one stands.

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 3:38:00 PM, Blogger francois said...

Dear Bob

dont you think that anyway all the decisions taken by the executive, president and PM etc... are illegal in regard to the lebanese constitution?
Let s check this constitution:
http://www.conseil-constitutionnel.gov.lb/fr/constitution.htm

We should have a senate with no sectarian representation, on a national basic, and in reality we do not have a senate.
This senate should be participating to the presidentcial election, the 2 chambers are the electoral college
We do not have an electoral college.

u are talking about the 2/3 to reach a quorum for the elections of the president and the president of the chamber, and i m sorry, it s written inside the constitution, and not an unwritten aggrement as you are saying: article 30 modified the 18/03/43

"La Chambre des députés est seule compétente pour juger la validité du mandat de ses membres. Aucun mandat ne peut être invalidé qu’à la majorité des deux tiers des voix de l’Assemblée entière."
and again in the modification of 1947:
"La Chambre des députés est seule compétente pour juger de la validité du mandat de ses membres. Aucun mandat ne peut être invalidé qu’à la majorité des deux tiers des voix de l’Assemblée entière." assemblée entière meaning the parliement and the senate


about now the question of the war criminal, totaly agree with you, but i ll warm you about one thing, the half of the current cabinet would be jailed at this time. I m having good hopes when i see pinochet being judged now despite an aministy law he passed to revirginise himself

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 3:48:00 PM, Blogger march14yuppi said...

Kamen Bob
Just for the sake of argument, I will assume the circumstances back then were exactly the same as today (which is not true) AND I will assume that your conclusion is the ONLY possible conclusion (which is not true) , namely :
"Aoun is the last one to speak" on the issue because in 1988 his position was the opposite of what it is today.

Is it OK to that reasonning and apply it on everyone else in order to see who is the one who can speak on the issue?

After that incident, EVERYONE ELSE all unanimously refused to acknowledge the Aoun government and instead backed to Selim al-Hoss government (even Hariri, ra7imahou ellah, considered the Hoss government the legitimate one back then).
Right?

So that means, by YOUR REASONING, both the druze and sunni's leadership position were also opposite of what it is today, and that makes them by your reasoning "the last ones to speak on the issue" !

Which leaves us with the only people who did not flip-flop on this issue and can "speak on it" : Berri and salim el hoss
No?

I am not saying who is right and who is wrong, or trying to say Aoun is right or blaming anyone else , just saying if we apply your reasoning in a consistent matter almost everyone will be "the last one who can speak about the issue"! And wondering if you agree with that.

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 4:17:00 PM, Blogger hillz said...

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At Friday, November 17, 2006 4:22:00 PM, Blogger hillz said...

ana manneh fahmein,
is the problem who talks about the subject or the subject itself: Is the government constitutional (or not)?? this is the question. now, even if the devils from the lala land talked about it this won't change the question:
"Is the government is constitutional (or not)??"

what u did is that you left the question which would be of discussion and you went to question the right of the devils from the lala land to question the government. and the result? a simplistic post..

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 6:04:00 PM, Blogger BOB said...

Hilal

I am “simplistic, childish and illogical” so i do not understand why you comment on my posts, that could cast you under similar adjectives.

Please if you find my posts "simplistic" do not comment on them, and honor us with your own deep and complicated posts, that cater to the subject you feel should be discussed, and illuminat us with your great wisdom.

François and the rest

Hoss constitutionality is also not very verified. He was an interim PM and then resigned. then he canceled his resignation (i donno if that is possible) and came back to power.

And yes many person sided against Aoun then and now are claiming a similar (but not totally identical) position.

My point is that this is all based on politics so these claims of constitutionality or not of the government are irrelevant. We saw how anyone in power ( I took Aoun as an example) can twist the constitution to suit his own interests. And the way to deal with any problem like we are facing is not via opposed claim of anti constitutionality and threats but thru a deal that solve the problem

And François
i am talking about electing a new president not removing or judging this one. And no where inthe consittuion there is something about a two third quorum. hat is says is the parliament elect the president with a two third majority in the first round and if this fails by simple majority.

Finally not only half the government will be in jail but also most of the opposition… But as long as everybody who committed a crime against humanity is in jail, or at least no one is singled out (frankly I prefer putting them all in jail) I have no problem

peace

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 6:10:00 PM, Blogger hillz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 6:12:00 PM, Blogger hillz said...

bob,
don't twist my words.. I said that the post is "simplistic" only, w ma jebet seertak.
ya3neh ma feeha shi 3adeh.
a fellow blogger yawned previously on a post written by me.
3adeh.
I guess far till now, I was sticking to politics, thanx for ur kind words.

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 10:59:00 PM, Blogger march14yuppi said...

Bob,
In your last comment you say "My point is that this is all based on politics ... anyone in power( I took Aoun as an example ..."

Obviously (judging from all the responses you got) your point and what you posted were completely far apart.

It could have helped your argument to mention somewhere in the post that you are talking about "anyone in power" and maybe in one paragraph explain how "Aoun for example did this ..."
Instead of talking about Aoun in the title, introduction, body and conclusion of your post and then say Aoun was just an example and not the point of the post.

Oh well ... Maybe that's just your style.

 
At Friday, November 17, 2006 11:45:00 PM, Blogger N10452 said...

I see you guys turned this Aoun talk about the government legitimacy or not.

I d like to emphasize on one point that you guys missed to prove Bob's argument.

First of all, when Aoun was elected back in 1988, he was heading a TEMPORARY government responsible of preparing presidential elections within 3 to 6 months and therefore he was illegitimate once he passed this period and ignored it.

Second of all, Aoun is calling the government illegitimate based on Taef ? Who launched a war on Syria and the LF cause of Taef ?
But lets forget that, Taef has mandatory points that imply the disarment of all militias, the purpose of Taef was ending the war and having one army before any other political solution.

Third, this is the 2nd time in 2 weeks that Aoun tries to be funny and teach us lessons in democracy, 1st time he wanted 44% of ministers cause he had 44% of deputees ? lol this guy seriously needs PS 101 course.
2nd time claiming Lahoud ministers should resign because they switched sides !!

The government is staying and is legal.

 
At Saturday, November 18, 2006 11:59:00 AM, Blogger N10452 said...

The government is legal.

 
At Saturday, November 18, 2006 12:53:00 PM, Blogger francois said...

dear N-LF 10452
no where in the constitution there was a temporary period of 3 to 6 months.
article 62 of the leb constitution:
"en cas de vacances de la présidence de la république, pour quelque raisons que ce soit, le pouvoir exécutif est exercé par le conseil des ministres" which comes here with what i prooved before, maybe his governement was illegal as the question of confidence couldnt be adressed to the parliement but his nomination and acts as PM were legal.
The term of minister in such case was more rethoric, we could have been talking about "chargés d'affaire" instead.
article 74 states that the parliement should have been meeting immediatly and not 3 to 6 monthes later, by consequence, due to the circonstaces his mandate was prolonged.
he acted into the framework of the constitution: article 65:
la révision de la constitution, la proclamation de l'état d'urgence et sa levée, la mobilisation générale etc...) as the PM he was having the right to lead the army to enter in confrontation with the syrian army and your dear illegal milicias PSP and LF
as we say in french, foutu pour foutu on tente le tout, aoun in from 88 to 90 tried to restablish the power of the autority of the state, as the first prerequisite to restablish it was to dismantle the milicias such the LF and the others and to make the syrian occupation illegal.
The syrian occupation was illegal from long time since chafic wazzan as PM officially called for the retreat of the syrian army in lebanon.
Today seems u didnt read what was written this governement due to the taef framework added to the constitution and that your party claims to protect is bringing questions over the legitimacy of the current government and beside the current governement also of the chamber as the lebanese citizens are not equal and did not have equal rights during the legislative elections (article 7 of the constitution)therefore all the governement are illegal and sorry for your dear LF sources dear N.
we are not into a democratic system, we are today in an autoritarian parlementary dictature and of course we have to be against any kind of dictature leading to the accaparation of a majority whichever it is of the center of the power and here if u are asking me what i would do to reach a more democratic system, i ll reply u with pleasure that i would open the vote for the president to all the people having a popular mandate including a municipal mandate, i would reach an aggreement where we would have 1 deputy by circonscriptions and to reach this we ll have to review the taef aggreement.

To bob
hoss governement was not able to go back into power: article 69 of the constitution.

article 52 to come back on the international tribunal: the president negociate the treaties and sign them with the agreement of the PM

We fighted for the respect of the lebanese basic rules and the basic rule is the constitution, hariri died bcz he was somehow against lahoud extension besides the other reasons. The presence of the futur ministers into the governement relegitimated lahoud, by consequence, the government should obey to the rules he relegitimated to be consequent with its own policies.

On the second point, unless your movement is claiming that taef is not perfect and need to be fixed somehow or to be even canceled due to the reasons X Y Z which claim that the governement should represent all the sects of the country and here the christian main party and parliementary bloc is absent and as the shia resigned since.
Taef in such terms support my view that our current system doesnt promote the political alternatives and sunk us deeper into a parlementary dictature which is paradoxal for a country that claims to be democratic.

 
At Tuesday, November 21, 2006 12:04:00 AM, Blogger N10452 said...

Dear Francois, Aoun was head of a temporary government and he had a deadline, i will dig through my files to get you the article proving that but am sure of it, and in all cases he was supposed to prepare for presidential elections, not start a war and finish off militias.

"by consequence, due to the circonstaces his mandate was prolonged."

Who prolonged his mandate ? and let me remind you Muslims withdrew from his government making it illegal if u claim this one is illegal.

"as the PM he was having the right to lead the army to enter in confrontation with the syrian army and your dear illegal milicias PSP and LF"

He wasnt supposed to lead a war but do presidential elections and the last thing he was asked to do was attacking the LF. Let me remind you he accepted Tunis in 88 that got him as president but refused Taef a year later which was similar to Tunis but didnt secure him the seat.

Aoun was trying to eliminate his first christian competitor and secure Beirut for himself, he fought the LF at first to please the Syrians but still they refused him so he continued on the Syrians before moving back to the LF.
Why remove the LF and not all other militias ? did u ever ask urself that ?

You are asking for a change of the whole Lebanese political system, our system is tha way and and its not the people that votes for the president.

Aoun is rushing elections since he knows time is not on his side, but i dont see the purpose of elections when we have a representative government and an opposition to it

Thats just normal

 

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