On Wednesday, July 22nd, the Constitutional Council made the decision to repeal a recently passed law that would have paved the way for civil servants to be appointed based on merit rather than on sect.
Earlier this month President Michel Aoun asked the Constitutional Council to reverse this law which was approved by the Parliament in May. Aoun deemed it “unconstitutional.”
“Merit-based civil service appointments are apparently unconstitutional in Lebanon.”– Tweet by Gregg Carlstrom, Middle East Correspondent for The Economist
President Aoun’s request was criticized by Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, who had drafted the law in the first place.
“What is not really constitutional is weapons outside the [control of the] state,” he tweeted, adding, “What is not constitutional at all is corruption and looting prevalent in the state … and the impoverishment and starvation of the Lebanese people.”
Merit-based selection of civil servants would have opened up the opportunity for qualified experts to manage properly the country’s affairs.
But with sectarian politics, we see many unqualified people in positions they shouldn’t initially be in charge of if it wasn’t for their sect.
When the law passed, it was a reformist move. It was a step in the direction of much-needed reform. Alas, Lebanon seems to be going backward.
This is a regrettable setback in a time when Lebanon is desperate to fight corruption and make serious reforms…by qualified, expert people.