Seven Months Of Vacuum

A Christmas tree is set in front of the Baabda Presidential Palace, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)

A Christmas tree is set in front of the Baabda Presidential Palace, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)

6 months. That’s all it took for the previous parliament to elect Michel Sleiman president. Now that we’re finishing the seventh month of presidential vacancy, I think it is safe to say that we are now living in a historical era: This is officially the second longest presidential vacancy the republic has ever seen (and the longest post-Taif one!). Hooray!

The record is 409 days. It’s a lot of time, but hopefully our politicians would be wise enough to guide us through 7 more months of vacancy. After all, breaking that record might be the only achievement this parliament has made since 2009.

2014 is clearly not 2008. Because seven months have already passed, and we still don’t have a president. Actually, it gets even better. Seven months have passed, and the political class forgot* about the presidential elections.

*completely forgot:

Unlike the past six months that were full of political maneuvers and surprises, December was most probably the calmest month among them all (Here’s a compilation of the monthly events for June, July, August, September, October, and November in case you’re interested). In December, nothing – relevant to the deadlock – happened. Other than the fact that Gemayel tried to fashion himself as a consensual candidate by paying a visit to the South (Gemayel’s a bit late for that phase of the game, since the battle is now about choosing a truly consensual candidate rather than one of the Maronite four), the only other political activities of this month were the government’s (epic fail) negotiations to end the Arsal fiasco alongside the attempt at distracting the people from the fiasco, the parliamentary extension and the presidential deadlock with the health ministry’s food campaign whose timing is suspicious: Food is not a political priority (actually, it is, but you get the point). The Islamic State is on the gates of the Bekaa, Israel is threatening from South, the hypocrite parliament extended its term without showing any intent to solve the presidential deadlock, and the government should be acting like a caretaker cabinet but instead, and as they say in Arabic, اخد مجدو.

And the Hezbollah – Future Movement dialogue that was supposed to be held “soon” last month, is also supposed to be held “very soon” one month later. So by this rate, should we expect a press conference in January telling us that the dialogue will be held very, very, very soon? (although it is supposed to kick off today :P)

Dear Santa, we want a president.

213 days since the 25th of May. 196 days left to break the 409 days record.

48 days since the 5th of November. 900 days till the next the parliamentary elections.

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