2007 Limbo Champ: Nabih Berri
Don’t matter how crowded the field gets. Don’t matter how low the others can get. Nabih Berri/Berry is the lowest of the low.
Lebanon has been without a president for over month. The “agreed-upon” candidate, General Michel Suleiman/Sleiman, can’t be elected without a constitutional amendment because Article 49 of the constitution precludes the election of grade-one government official.
While the local useless idiots are squabbling over amending the constitution, Speaker and Constitution-Abuser-in-Chief Nabih Berri thinks that General Suleiman can be elected WITHOUT an amendment. Why and how you ask?
Berri last week said there was no longer a need for a constitutional amendment to allow grade one civil servants - such as Army Commander General Michel Suleiman - to be elected to the presidency. Article 74 reads as follow: "Should the Presidency become vacant through the death or resignation of the President or for any other cause, the Chamber meets immediately and by virtue of the law to elect a successor [….]”To you and me, that means the Chamber ought to meet IMMEDIATELY (5 weeks ago) and ought to STAY in session until a prez is elected.
We have now had 11 postponements with not a single attempt to elect. So in Berri's unprincipled sub-par mind, article 74 that says that in case of vacancy the chamber meets immediately to elect a new prez implies “you can elect anyone” (at a time of Berri's choosing).
Among other things, article 49 says you have to be a Lebanese citizen, of age etc and NOT a grade-one employee to be elected (BTW, the Web site of the Constitutional Council is still "DOWN").
By Berri’s logic, because there’s a vacancy, all of Article 49 and its requirements are out the window. The chamber could now lawfully elect a 12-year old Tibetan to the presidency of Lebanon. Maybe when Tibetan monks identify the new incarnation of the Panshen Lama we could ask him to double as head of our useless state. I have the utmost confidence he’ll do better than 90% of our past presidents, and he’ll certainly be more honest than all my compatriots (no offense).
Let me add that I don’t begrudge Berri anymore when an item as ridiculous as the above appears only in the back pages of a couple of papers, instead of being a major career busting scandal.
Sorry Lebanese, but we deserve this crap and the crappy press that under-reports such.
Speaking of the press: how about a major paper/channel featuring 2 or 3 constitutional experts regularly, on the on-goings of the election? Maybe people would be better informed and maybe some politicians and some religious figures would be shamed into semi-sanity.
Instead, the Daily Star, bishops and sheiks are back asking our unconscionable political class to do the right thing. Bwahahhhahhhhhaaaa!
As to Nabih Berri, limbo is a dance but it is also the “edge of hell”. Here’s’ my wish for the New Year and may God forgive me: I wish Nabih would make it from the edge of hell to the actual real thing, the one whence there's no escape for the rest of eternity.
Happy New Year Everyone!