The Revolution’s list of demands is reasonably basic and simple. One of them is the independence of the judicial system to be able to deal with corruption all around, hence to be trusted again by the people to protect them and do just by them. The demands also encompass liberating Lebanon from the oppressive political dominion on its key institutions, and they include the Syndicates of the Pharmacists and the Physicians, among others.
On November 17th, Beirut’s Bar Association had its elections for members and head of the association. Startling enough after a month of the nation revolting, there were still many candidates proudly declaring that they were supported by different political parties as if, somehow, they missed noticing the ongoing reality that it has become a shameful statement.
Lebanon’s Syndicates have been at the mercy of politicians for as long as we can remember. The political strategy is simple and in the open: Most political parties rallied around one or two candidates to ensure them winning the key seats, hence preserving the political elite’s control over these vital institutions.
And yet, this time at the Beirut Bar Association’s election, all that they got in return was a shock. They failed big time to bring their people to win. It was the independent, non-political affiliated candidate Melhem Khalaf who, running against two other candidates supported politically, was elected as the new head of Beirut’s Bar Association.
In that, the revolution just scored another win, which says plenty about the changes occurring in the mentality of the majority of the Lebanese. That success is proof that the nation is walking on the right path.
On this note, the moment the news was announced on social media, with cheerful reactions from most Lebanese, several political parties tried to take the credit, claiming Melhem Khalaf is affiliated to them or was supported by them.
First on the line was head of parliament and leader of the Amal Movement Nabih Berri, whose followers rushed to spread online rumors that Mr. Khalaf contacted their leader to thank him for his support. A twisted truth meant to create confusion among the Lebanese and distrust towards Mr. Khalaf:
In an interview with Al Jadeed TV, Mr. Khalaf recounted that Berri contacted him as “a fellow lawyer” right after the election to congratulate him. Later through the evening, it was Hezbollah’s group of free professions that went claiming, also on social media, that they were the ones who supported Mr. Khalaf.
These attempts to steal the credit and misdirect the public’s opinion were received with contempt and sarcasm by the masses on social media and on the ground.
However, while that election was a big win for the revolution against corruption, the coming syndicate election of the Order of Pharmacists, which is due on Sunday the 24th of November, might not be as favorable.
The only four candidates running for the board member position are not Independent but affiliated to the political elite. It is the same for the five candidates running for the Disciplinary position. As for the two Pension Funds’ positions, only two out of the seven running candidates are Independent.
Basically, there is no independent candidate for the key seats of both the Board and the Disciplinary. The thunderous voice of the revolution doesn’t seem to have reached the pharmacists which institution needs to liberate itself from the controlling iron clutches of political parties and their leaders.
That ongoing control of the Order of Pharmacists is a profitable one and so is that of the Physicians. The people pay the consequences.
Now is the time for the change Lebanon is so desperate to bring. If not now, then when? Decent people of high consciousness must step up now when the Revolution has their back, and free their institutions from political domination so they can assume their professional mission as they have pledged:
To serve the people; not the politicians and their self-centered agenda and greed.