First woman ever to seek Lebanon presidency says Syria created ''corrupt'' class of politicians
Naila Mouawad, the first woman in Lebanon to run for president, on Tuesday was quoted as saying that Syria's "excessive interference" in Lebanon's internal affairs has created a "corrupt" class of politicians that destroyed democratic values, suppressed public liberties and steered the economy close to the bottom of the abyss.
"This class has confiscated political life in Lebanon and undermined the institutions of a civil society," Mrs. Mouawad said in a lecture in Brussels about "the Arab World and the challenges of modernization," An Nahar English website reported on Tuesday.
Mouawad said the 1989 Taif accord had given the Lebanese the hope to establish a "a modern, democratic, free, sovereign and independent state" after 15 years of civil war.
"But Lebanon, to the chagrin of all, did not get the chance to accomplish the post-war aspirations of the people. The first elected president after Taif, my husband Rene Mouawad, who personified the values of Lebanon's reconciliation, was assassinated just 17 days after his election," Naila Mouawad noted.
"By his assassination, the Taif Accord was assassinated lamentably. Political life has since been awfully distorted and emptied of its meaning," Mrs. Mouawad said, calling for a unified European stand to back democracy in the Middle East.
Mouawad's husband was killed in a November 1989 car bombing in the Syrian-controlled western sector of Beirut shortly after being elected.
A former journalist, she joined the parliament 1981 as a deputy in northern Lebanon, and is linked to Qornet Shehwan, a gathering of Christians who oppose Syria's control and military presence in Lebanon. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)