President Michel Aoun calls for the proclamation of a “secular state”


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Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Sunday recognized the need to change the political system in Lebanon and called for the proclamation of a “secular state”, on the eve of a new visit by French President Emmanuel Macron.

President Michel Aoun recognized, Sunday, August 30, the need to change the political system in Lebanon and called for the proclamation of a “secular state”, on the eve of the visit of the French Head of State Emmanuel Macron who is pressing for reforms.

A few hours earlier, the head of powerful pro-Iranian Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah, an ally of Michel Aoun, had announced to be ready to discuss a new “political pact” in the country, where religious communities share power.

These announcements came on the eve of the appointment of a new Prime Minister, who should be an ambassador, Moustapha Adib, chosen by the heavyweights of the Sunni community, contrary to the expectations of the protest movement.

“I ask that Lebanon be declared a secular state”

“Because I am convinced that only a secular state is capable of protecting pluralism, of preserving it by transforming it into real unity, I ask that Lebanon be declared a secular state”, asserted Michel Aoun in a speech on the occasion. of the centenary of Lebanon.


The Head of State had so far remained deaf to the demands of the protest launched in October 2019.

Sunday evening, he pledged to “call for dialogue between religious authorities and political leaders in order to arrive at a formula acceptable to all” which would require constitutional amendments.

Emmanuel Macron, the first foreign leader to visit Lebanon after the deadly explosion at the port of Beirut, had urged politicians to undertake vital political reforms.

He spoke on Friday of the “constraints of a denominational system” which led “to a situation where there is almost no renewal (political) and where there is almost an impossibility of carrying out reforms”.

Successive Western officials in Beirut have joined the Lebanese’s calls for deep political change after the Beirut port disaster that left at least 188 dead, and for which the political class is held accountable through negligence and corruption.

New Prime Minister

Sunday evening, the tenors of the Sunni community announced that they had agreed on the name of the Lebanese ambassador to Germany, Moustapha Adib, which should be endorsed during these consultations.

An approach that illustrates the way the denominational system works, the post of Prime Minister being reserved for the Sunni Muslim community.

The popular protest movement has warned that it will reject any name resulting from the consultations of a political class whose departure it is asking for.

With AFP

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