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Monday, June 20, 2005

Lebanon vote

AP Wire:

The anti-Syrian opposition secured a majority in the Lebanese parliament Monday, breaking Damascus' long political hold on its tiny neighbor after opposition candidates swept all seats in the last round of elections, according to unofficial results. A campaign official for anti-Syrian opposition leader Saad Hariri said the slate had won all seats in the north, guaranteeing the parliamentary majority. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Hariri was expected to announce the victory himself later Monday at a news conference. As news of the win spread, women and children waved flags and danced on the streets of the northern port city of Tripoli. Motorcades of cheering, honking supporters drove through Beirut, the capital, in celebration.
Good. Now the tough part starts. Democracy is a process, not an event, as so many keep reminding us. Diffusing the long standing rivalries that still exist in Lebanon and building a functioning political infrastucture that will be able to support a robust Democracy is a herculean task. Doubtless there will be failings and setbacks in the process. Lebanon once was an enlighted and progressive country though. There is no reason that it cannot become so again. The events that have unfolded in Lebanon will also likely have a huge positive impact on Israeli-Palestinian peace as Lebanon will hopefully become much less willing to supply (and provide a pipeline for others to supply) Palestinian terrorist organizations.


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