Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, resigned at 4 PM on October 29, 2019 (from Lebanon for a change), and has since changed the entire spirit of Lebanon’s Revolution. With Lebanese people finally feeling their demands are being taken seriously, and that politicians across the nation are finally remembering who they work for (took them 13 days), one can only hope that this is headed where it is meant to head: Phase two.
With quite intriguing rumors circulating among protestors, the most famous of which was an eight-day rule, (maybe they meant the five-second rule?) one can only hope that our Constitutional processes are reaching a wider audience at this point. Because people know what they want. They deserve it. And they deserve to know that their Constitution ensures it.
So, the Prime Minister resigned, and this automatically means the Government has resigned. It is important for the general public to know that the “gap” (vacuum), which everyone seems to be threatening protesters with, could not be further from the truth.
This “void” is actually not a gap at all (although probably quite a useless use of space in that sense if that’s what they meant), it is a “Caretaker Government”, tasked with acting as a transitional government and charged with administrative tasks until a new a Government is formed.
So again, this works in the following manner: The Parliament is now tasked with holding an extraordinary (although mesh kelloun extraordinary?) session until a new Government is formed and the newly nominated Prime Minister gains her/his legitimacy from the President of the Republic through a decree (yes the President still has this power at least).
Once done, a decree is issued to appoint a transitory “Rescue Government” (brilliant name), which is a smaller and expert (for a change) government from outside the political structure.
Following this highly important step, the Parliament gives this “Rescue Government” the power to form a new Electoral Law that is not routed in any Sectarian division.
After it does so, the Parliament and President resign and the “Rescue Government” assumes the responsibilities of the President (what’s left of them anyway) until after successful early elections are undertaken across a period which does not exceed six months.
And last but not least, at that stage, our three sources of power are formed. The newly elected Parliament elects the Speaker of the Parliament as well as the President of the Republic. A new Prime Minister is named and a new Council of Ministers is formed.
With the most googled questions about Lebanon depicted in the picture below, one can only hope this revolution teaches us all a valuable lesson: Our Constitution and Government are only as “void” as we allow them to be.
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