On Wednesday, July 8th, Lebanon’s President asked the Constitutional Council to repeal a recently passed law that stipulates that appointments of civil servants should be based on merit rather than on sect.
The law, which was approved by the parliament on May 28, “creates a competency-based mechanism for appointing senior civil servants.” reported The Daily Star.
The law is a step forward for Lebanon. However, President Michel Aoun considers it to be in violation of the constitution, according to the NNA.
According to the president, it is deemed unconstitutional because it “removed the ability of ministers to appoint civil servants,” added The Daily Star.
The request comes in contradiction to the president’s previous call, last October, for a merit-based government, according to AFP.
Leader of the Lebanese Forces party Samir Geagea responded by criticizing the president’s perception of constitutional.
“What is not really constitutional is weapons outside the state, and the confiscation of the state’s military and security strategic decision [making],” he tweeted. “What is not constitutional at all is corruption and looting prevalent in the state … and the impoverishment and starvation of the Lebanese people.”
Worth pointing out that appointments of civil servants have occurred after the passing of that law yet with total disregard for it.
As noted by The Daily Star, “despite the law passing in May, Cabinet has so far approved two rounds of senior civil service appointments without applying its stipulated mechanism.”
The most recent round was the appointment of six new members as the board of directors at Electricite du Liban, selected based on sect rather than merit.
With sectarian politics, many educated people who deserve to be in top positions lose the opportunity to underqualified people because they are in the “wrong sect.”
The worst, however, is that the Lebanese people lose their right to have their country’s affairs managed by qualified experts.
One has only to look at Lebanon today to see where these appointments have led the country into.