Proactive leadership

A handout picture provided by the Lebanese photo agency Dalati and Nohra on May 7, 2018, shows Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri talking to journalists during a news conferece in the Lebanese capital Beirut. "AFP PHOTO / DALATI AND NOHRA"

Now that the elections are over, one would hope that Lebanon’s politicians would put their fiery campaign rhetoric behind them and focus on the challenges facing the country.

It is encouraging to note that Prime Minister Saad Hariri, though well-aware of the existing differences among the country’s various political parties, and keenly cautious of the volatile situation surrounding Lebanon, has chosen to walk that exact path, investing his political victories into pursuing the interests of the country and its future.

Hariri has chosen to move past discord and instead focus on the needs of the country, particularly the economy, infrastructure, unemployment, refugees, graft and the promised reforms.

Simply put, the prime minister has wisely chosen to continue what he already started – namely living up to the promises to the international community that helped secure significant aid, and hopefully more in the future.

Hariri, in the style of a true statesman, has placed the interests of Lebanon and its people above politicking. Such a stance gives hope to the country, its security and stability, and in fact embraces the grievances and aspirations of the electorate.

And to achieve that the prime minister has extended his hand to all political parties in the country regardless of differences, in order to pursue the stability, security and prosperity of Lebanon, separating the pressing local challenges from those heavy issues that have a regional slant and that should be tackled in a wider context.

It is also encouraging that Hezbollah appears to be moving in the same direction. In this respect, the approach presented by its leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, if not mere propaganda, could similarly lead to a drop in tensions and spare the country unnecessary anxiety.

This attitude not only marks the manifestation of the desire to leave behind the sharp, and at times deadly, dynamics that governed the electoral campaign, but is also an invitation for other blocs that are going to be represented to follow suit, eschewing personal interests and designs and abandoning the culture of settling scores.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 08, 2018, on page 1.




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