Third Republic

On November 5th 2014, the day the Lebanese parliament self-extended its own mandate for the second time, the Second Republic took its last breath and passed away.
Let us start together the process of building the Third Republic that would insure us real independence and sustainable stability.

In the Third Republic, the ultimate goal of the establishment of the State is not domination and control, but liberation and development, particularly freeing the mind from all forms of fear and anxiety so as to enable the individual to carry out his normal function towards himself, others and the State while preserving the minimum of his natural right to a decent life.

Independence of the Lebanese army

In the Third Republic,
the independence of the military institution will be insured by an Act of law that frees the army from political interference in order for them to deal with security and military matters and work on the field without having recourse to political authorities, and according to the national ideology and away from religious and sectarian considerations and affiliations.
The military capabilities would be reinforced through the disbursement of a special budget for this purpose without depending on donations that remain often unfulfilled promises.

Parliamentary accountability

In the Third Republic,
each member of parliament who fails to attend the parliament sessions for more than three consecutive times without legitimate excuse will be considered to have resigned automatically as stipulated in a specific list of pre-defined and exclusive legitimate excuses that will be added to the internal regulations of the parliament.
The vacant parliamentary position would be filled automatically, and without any other procedure or measure by the first candidate who has lost while competing for the parliament seat in question in the last parliamentary elections.

Government formation and accountability

In the Third Republic,
the government would be formed by a set of Ministerial portfolios held by a designated minister helped by a number of assistants the number of whom will be determined by the cabinet formation decree. The assistants’ positions would also be determined gradually (first, second, third substitute) provided they include an assistant who is under the age of forty.
Is also considered to have resigned each minister who fails to attend the cabinet meetings for more than three consecutive times without legitimate excuse, as stipulated in a specific list of predefined and exclusive legitimate excuses that will be added to the law on the organization of the work of the Council of Ministers, and he/she will be replaced automatically, without any other procedure or measure, by the highest grade first assistant.

Justice and Judicial Independence

In the Third Republic,
as Justice is the basis of governance, the independence of the Judiciary is the basis of justice.
The independence of the judicial authorities begins with the separation of power through realistic practices and with the liberation of the judges from the grip of the executive authority and the subordination to sectarian feudal leaders, through the adoption of new legal regulations that achieve financial and administrative autonomy for the judicial body and give the judges the required guarantees to protect them while exercising their duties. These guarantees would be related to appointments, transfers, promotions, revocation and discipline, provided that they be bound by universally accepted supreme ethical standards, especially the six values declared the “Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct”, namely:
Independence - Neutrality - Integrity - Decency - Equality - Efficiency.

In removing Banking Secrecy

In the Third Republic,
each person serving a public function: presidents, ministers, deputies, judges and senior staff are obligated to lift the banking secrecy off their accounts and the accounts of their family members: Parents, spouse, children and sons-in-law.
Similarly, the currently existing - and exclusive to politicians - real estate immunity, that is in violation of the law, will also be lifted allowing every citizen to examine the public officials’ real-estate property at the Directorate-General of land registry.

Civil peace and sustainable security

In the Third Republic,
civil peace and sustainable security would be at the top of national policy priorities. Social justice would be its first basic pillar because Justice is the foundation of civil peace and the compulsory path for reaching sustainable security. It is achieved through the eradication of the roots of misery, poverty, deprivation and ignorance that generate extremism, security tensions and conflicts, and by focusing on human development in the areas of health, education, and social protection, as well as giving citizens social rights, especially a comprehensive health coverage, old-age security and compulsory free quality public education.

Food Safety

In the Third Republic,
food safety, which is of fundamental human rights, would be assured, by establishing a new legal system that focuses, in a comprehensive and unified way, on the identification and the application of a typical set of guidelines and procedures that seek to control the food and set scientifically based legitimate rules to organize and keep track of the food production through all its stages, i.e. from the farm until its consumption - which is known under the name: “From Farm to Fork”.
A national institution for food safety would also be established, independent of all ministries and departments, and in charge of laying the foundations of law enforcement and risk analysis and bearing the responsibility of monitoring and supervising the provision of proper food, including the inspection of manufacturing facilities, distribution and importation of food., considering that one of the main causes of food intoxication is the severe lack of control over the food products before or after placing them under consumption

National security strategy

In the Third Republic,
the State would be able to deal with regional conflicts and crises and to face threats by developing a national security strategy on which the foreign and defense policy would be based.
- Military commanders and security experts, specialists in politics, economy, diplomacy and social affairs as well as academics, intellectuals, analysts and the civil society would all participate in its drafting.
- It would aim at preserving, by protecting and deterring, the vital interests of Lebanon and its people, which includes in particular the human, military, economic, environmental and social security and the preservation of community, cultural and intellectual beliefs, lifestyle and other crucial issues…
- A clear, consistent and uniform foreign policy will be established accordingly concerning the diplomatic speech and approach, which will be exclusively for the national interest and not for any other regional or international interests, including friendly and “sister" countries, in order to separate, as much as possible, the inside from the impact of the outside.

Rights and Liberties

In the Third Republic
the respect of individual rights and public freedoms is an essential condition forbuilding a free and prosperous society.
Thus, the State will guarantee the practice of all kinds of such freedoms, especially the Individual freedom of citizens in their private, family and social lives. Individual freedoms are not limited to shelter, transport, ownership and privacy but it also includes personal freedoms, freedom of belief and freedom of opinion and expression. The personal freedom is the right of citizens to believe what they really deem right and to dispose of their person and their own affairs without any interference in their will or control thereon by any civil or religious authority, provided that his conduct does not constitute a violation to the freedom of others.
To enable citizens to exercise their freedom of choice in everything that concerns them, it is necessary to adopt an optional civil code of personal status in which the optional civil marriage will be an essential part.

Uncontrolled Funds, councils

In the Third Republic,
all Funds, councils and bodies that are not subject to control will be canceled.
For example but not limited to: the Council for Development and Reconstruction – the Higher Relief Council – The South Fund - The Displaced Fund ... etc.
The ministry of Planning and Design would be reactivated to replace them, It would serve as the mother of all other ministries, institutions and municipalities and would develop a planning and design philosophy, goals and priorities for a comprehensive and sustainable national development plan.
The relevant sectorial ministries in cooperation and consultation with the municipalities and local bodies involved in their regions’ development would be in charge of the implementation of the development projects of their regions. Thus the equation of securing the common interest of the community and the optimal use of national resources will prevail over the equation of narrow personal interests and individual dependency in the decision-making of major national projects.

The Ombudsman

In the Third Republic,
the law on the creation of an intermediary institution between the citizens and thegovernment or Ombudsman that was promulgated in 2005 and that was not applied until this date would be activated.
Accordingly, the ombudsman would be an independent person who does not receive instructions from any authority and who is not subject to political pressure.
He interferes, under the conditions established by the law, to facilitate the citizens' procedures with the Administration, to resolve amicably disputes arising therefrom and to eliminate the injustice they suffered.
He would be in charge of monitoring the public services and of verifying their compliance with the applicable laws and their respect of the rights and freedoms of citizen.
His services would be free and not subject to any fee or stamp.
It is not possible to combine the function of ombudsman with any position, function, official mission or private profession, whatsoever.
In order to solve the disputes over his appointment, the law would be amended and the power to appoint the mediator of the Republic will be granted to the President of the Republic.

Youth Participation

In the Third Republic,
the youth are considered as an active force in nation-building, and their participation inpublic and political life would be enhanced and therefore, the voting age would be reduced to the age of 18 and a political retirement age would be determined similarly to the age adopted in the Labor Law, to prevent running for parliamentary, ministerial or presidential positions after the age of 63.

Women’s rights

In the Third Republic,
Lebanese women would have the right to full citizenship,
- All unjust legal articles that are unfair to women’s right would be canceled (Social Security Law, labor, trade, bankruptcy, etc…),
- Women would enjoy full protection from all forms violence and from domestic violence by amending the “half-Law” that was passed in 2014 and by introducing all the amendments submitted by women's associations,
- Marital rape, sexual harassment would also be criminalized and early marriages imposed on young girls would be prohibited.
- Women participation, especially in the political and economic life and women’s access to decision-making positions in the public and private sector would be enhanced, an interim women’s quota in a new just and equitable election law would be adopted as well as introducing incentive tax policies that benefit companies and organizations which include a number of women in their boards of directors.
- Women would gain their natural right to grant citizenship to their family because a mother’s honor is of the honor of the homeland,
“A homeland where mothers are humiliated is honorless”.

Taxation

In the Third Republic,
the current socially unjust taxation system based on indirect taxes that affect all socialclasses without distinction would change into a more equitable and effective system through which all the society groups share the tax charge fairly and according to the basis of “Tax where the money is”
Accordingly The VAT on consumption would be reduced (gasoline, communications, etc.) and taxes would be restructured:
- The adoption of a progressive tax law on total household income.
imposing a tax on the profits of real estate sales by real estate companies and real estate speculations, provided that the property of individuals, if the property was the basic residence of the individual, be exempted,
- Imposing a tax on real estate sales profits and real estate speculation, however individuals would be exempt from such a tax in case the property was their main residence
- Increasing the tax on bank revenues and adopting a progressive tax on the profit of interest
- Imposing an environmental tax in order to reduce the large consumption of products that harm the environment.

Consumer rights/protection

In the Third Republic,
the consumer-citizen will stop being humiliated by the monopoly controlling theLebanese market which is leading to:
- Boom in prices and cost of living,
- Limiting fair competition,
- Limiting competent persons from the job market
- Limiting the benefit from the advantages of modern inventions and discoveries unless they are in favor of the monopolist,
Thus the State's role would not be limited to actions associated with seasonal conditions, but it would seek to put an end to the economic structure distortion practiced by the local market stakeholders, which are controlling the political decisions and dominating the State's resources and assets.
This requires:
- The adoption of a qualified economic supervisory body to curb the monopoly and control and regulate prices
- The abolishing of the law on the protection of exclusive agencies and the ratifying of the Competition Act that is, like others, kept in drawers.
- The activation of the role of the stalled consumer court since its inception in 2005.

Just Governance

In the Third Republic,
the good rule takes hold through the practice of just governance and theadoption of sustainable policies.
A change is essential in the current governance methodology based on sectarian and personal quotas and not resorting to the law and the Constitution which leads to a vacuum in State institutions, starting at the level of the presidency and extending to the heads of the security and military institutions, especially in a very dangerous and critical historical period.
Thus, we move from the power and domination projects to the State project through political governance that respects human rights and is based on participatory principles and on the respect of the people's choice in a framework of institutional, legal and constitutional regulation in order to avoid having vacant official positions.

Parliamentary Reform

In the Third Republic,
an end will be put to the legislation crisis and to the poor performance of theParliament through building new reformist frameworks for the Parliamentary Regime, in particular:
- Separating Parliamentary and Ministerial positions,
- Reducing the number of deputies to below one hundred,
- Reducing the salaries of Mps so that they do not exceed ten times the minimum wage, and abolishing the lifetime family allocation system and replacing it by a fair compensation system.
- Cancelling the “service” expenses, such as annual asphalting allocations for each MP and deploying these funds to support youth initiatives.
- Adopting a clear methodology to put projects on the parliament’s general assembly voting agenda
- Adopting the electronic voting instead of raising hands to enable the citizens to know accurately the positions of their representatives
- Making the parliament’s general assembly and committee sessions public, in particular through their direct broadcast by the media and the Internet and by allowing the activists and citizens to attend the sessions.

Memory of the civil war

In the Third Republic,
the page would be turned on civil wars, disputes and conflicts - overt and covert -and we would pass into a phase of real national reconciliation through the formation of a committee of frankness and reconciliation headed by the President of the Republic
This committee would include specialists and experts in the social and political sciences, history and law, as well as civil society forces and would seek to resolve the conflicts, deepening the connection between the different spectra and would assume especially the following tasks:
- Investigating and exposing the realities of the civil war period and understanding the causes of the conflict
- Achieving full justice by compensating war victims and all persons affected,
- Especially solving the issue of the missing during the war (above the 17000), and the war crimes
- Writing the history of the war period in one united and neutral novel that converges the points of view and facilitates the access to real and transparent information in order to reach a clear understanding for future generations,
- Establishing a number of memorials to have as reminders and to reconcile with the memory of the war
- Finding a final solution to the problem of the displaced over all the Lebanese territory,
- Creating social programs and activities aiming at merging and uniting the Lebanese society and promoting a culture of peace, tolerance and dialogue and understanding of the different “other”.

Foreign Policy

In the Third Republic,
Lebanon would regain its leading and distinguished role on the internationalarena by adopting an ethical and humane foreign policy and diplomacy, par excellence.
As Lebanon was a founding member of the United Nations and played a major role in writing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and struggled for 3 years for the adoption of the law on human rights under the complex international situation and the sharp differences between the two camps of the world at the time,
Lebanon would go back to its former glory to lead the support of the legitimate rights of peoples and the respect of the principles and universal human values, so that the constants of its foreign policy would be:
- Compatible with human rights,
- In support of the oppressed and persecuted peoples,
- Promoting global solidarity therewith and pressing toward the adoption by the international community of resolutions that fit in with these human constants,
Promoting global solidarity therewith and pressing toward the adoption by the international community of resolutions that fit in with these human constants,
This policy would be put into practice, particularly by the adoption of the Armenian people’s cause and the demand for recognition, apology and compensation for the genocide they suffered,
Internally, the 24th of April would be an official national day of solidarity with the oppressed Armenian and Syriac peoples.

Youth Empowerment

In the Third Republic,
the State would contribute to the creation of job opportunities for university andvocational Lebanese youth through a motivational policy that aims to attract investments in infrastructure and especially in the technology sector:
- By reducing bureaucracy and simplifying administrative procedures related to the foundation of new companies, and reducing the cost of these measures for young people
- By developing a tax policy in line with these investments and including incentives for companies and institutions that provide the first work for young people, as well as a program of tax cuts or subsidized loans for individual youth initiatives emerging in their early stages in order to support their competitive capacities.

Media Reform

In the Third Republic,
the Lebanese media situation will be re-examined for it to regain its place at theforefront of the Arab media and become a real space for political, intellectual, cultural and social diversity and an important platform for the various views.

This is done by adopting new policies based on media pluralism, which seeks to consolidate political and cultural citizenship rights and is based on:
- Opening the access to Broadcast media for all citizens who wish to exercise media communication and engage in the media arena by removing the legal and financial blockages that prevents the emergence of new and independent media and especially by abolishing the subjection of the property licensing to political decisions and exorbitant financial charges,
- Protecting and promoting the freedom of Internet and improving its infrastructure,
- Abolishing censorship and applying alternative regulatory policies, taking into account the expert civil society organizations’ proposals.
- Adopting a code of conduct for journalists and media professionals,to which the media companies should also adhere, and that includes a set of ethical and behavioral values ​​and principles based on the “International Munich Declaration of the Duties and Rights of Journalists” (1971) that defines the media’s duties towards the public and the rights they need in order to do their part and practice their profession freely far from various temptations.
- Securing legal protection for media professionals, especially when they address topics related to the issues of corruption, preventing their exposure to any temporary arrest and establishing a media tribunal.

Transport Policy

In the Third Republic,
efforts would be focused on solving the transport crisis through the adoption of anintegrated sustainable transport policy, aiming at:
- Reducing the current deadly levels of pollution,
- Creating job opportunities and promoting the economic growth
- Bringing citizens and promoting national unity
Through the establishment of an integrated transport network covering the whole Lebanese territory, and enabling the citizens to fully rely on it on a daily basis instead of using private cars, high-tech railways would be the backbone for this transport network, thus all encroachments on the railway territories would be removed to revive the train, especially the vital coastal rail that stretches from Akkar to Tyr
A new railway line, linking Sidon to Nabatieh, would also be studied and created according to the recommendations of the master plan for the development of the Lebanese territory SDATL.
And to insure equal opportunities for all, the train will be integrated on one hand with the local bus networks that will connect the mountain villages to the main stations, and on the other hand with the reopened airports of Klayaat in Akkar and Rayak in the Bekaa Valley to connect them to Beirut airport through the national railway network.

Economy

In the Third Republic,
the guidelines of the economic policy will be re-examined and a qualitative transitionwould be carried out from the economy of consumption and imports to an economy of production and export based on private knowledge and innovation,
in order to achieve a high and sustainable economic growth which contributes to the reduction of public debts and the creation of new job opportunities with long-term added-value.
The efforts would be focused on increasing the productivity in areas that carry a differential relative advantage enabling the Lebanese economy to strengthen its competitive position. This requires:
- Directing the economy towards the most promising sectors and activities based on the use of human powers, especially in the areas of Knowledge Economy sectors.
For example: Consulting, medical and engineering services, scientific research, education and training centers, accounting and auditing, media and advertising, translation, languages​​...
- Modernization and guiding of the educational system toward Modern technical applied education
- Adaptation of the production, at all levels, to the employment market requirements.
Lebanon would become an important economic center able to expand the size of the domestic market and its expansion abroad through the export of services in the Knowledge Economy sectors, in addition to the export of goods and traditional products, rather than the export of human resources.

Public Referendum

In the Third Republic,
referendums and some aspects of direct democracy would be adopted in publicpolicy making, in confirmation of the state’s trust in the Lebanese people’s oversight, audit and participation in governance.
The referendum would be a public vote on specific political questions or key issues through which the people express their position, it may be related to a constitutional or legal amendment or to take the opinion of the people on a particular personality/ particular personalities or on a political direction adopted by the government.
The referendum process should also be subject, mandatorily, to the rules and legislations that secure its transparency and integrity and avoid transforming it into a form of exploitation and deception of the people, especially:
- To be organized and under the supervision of independent, unbiased official authorities and bodies, and subject to the rules and conduction of elections (the freedom and secrecy of the vote, the use of advertising and media, sorting and counting the ballots).
- To be public and inclusive of all voters and not limited to samples selected discretionary
- To be preceded by adequate discussions and public debates for all views, competitor or opponent, from different groups of people and sectors without any suppression, marginalization or exclusion
- That the media be free, independent, impartial and equitable among the contenders in order to allow the citizens to acquire an informed opinion on the asked question.

These guarantees are necessary because the potential falsification of the referendum results and its use as a bridge to achieve selfish, personal and narrow goals make it lose all its real value.

Independence of the Lebanese army

In the Third Republic,
the independence of the military institution will be insured by an Act of law
Read more...

Parliamentary accountability

In the Third Republic,
each member of parliament who fails to attend the parliament sessions
Read more...

Government formation
and accountability

In the Third Republic,
the government would be formed by a set of Ministerial portfolios held by a
Read more...

Justice and
Judicial Independence

In the Third Republic,
as Justice is the basis of governance, the independence of the Judiciary is the
Read more...

In removing
Banking Secrecy

In the Third Republic,
each person serving a public function: presidents, ministers, deputies, judges and
Read more...

Civil peace and
sustainable security

In the Third Republic,
civil peace and sustainable security would be at the top of national policy
Read more...

Food Safety

In the Third Republic,
food safety, which is of fundamental human rights, would be assured, by
Read more...

National
security strategy

In the Third Republic,
the State would be able to deal with regional conflicts and crises and to face
Read more...

Rights
and Liberties

In the Third Republic
the respect of individual rights and public freedoms is an essential condition for
Read more...

Uncontrolled Funds, councils

In the Third Republic,
all Funds, councils and bodies that are not subject to control will be canceled.
Read more...

The
Ombudsman

In the Third Republic,
the law on the creation of an intermediary institution between the citizens and the
Read more...

Youth
Participation

In the Third Republic,
the youth are considered as an active force in nation-building, and their participation in
Read more...

Women’s rights

In the Third Republic,
Lebanese women would have the right to full citizenship,
Read more...

Taxation

In the Third Republic,
the current socially unjust taxation system based on indirect taxes that affect all social
Read more...

Consumer rights/ protection

In the Third Republic,
the consumer-citizen will stop being humiliated by the monopoly controlling the
Read more...

Just
governance

In the Third Republic,
the good rule takes hold through the practice of just governance and the
Read more...

Parliamentary
Reform

In the Third Republic,
an end will be put to the legislation crisis and to the poor performance of the
Read more...

Memory of
the civil war

In the Third Republic,
the page would be turned on civil wars, disputes and conflicts - overt and covert -
Read more...

Foreign
Policy

In the Third Republic,
Lebanon would regain its leading and distinguished role on the international
Read more...

Youth
Empowerment

In the Third Republic,
the State would contribute to the creation of job opportunities for university and
Read more...

Media
Reform

In the Third Republic,
the Lebanese media situation will be re-examined for it to regain its place at the
Read more...

Transport
Policy

In the Third Republic,
efforts would be focused on solving the transport crisis through the adoption of an
Read more...

Economy

In the Third Republic,
the guidelines of the economic policy will be re-examined and a qualitative transition
Read more...

Public
Referendum

In the Third Republic,
referendums and some aspects of direct democracy would be adopted in public
Read more...

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