Transition and Rupture

Translation of an article by Mounir Doumani, member of “Citizens in a State”, published in L’Orient-le-Jour on Monday February 1st 2021 on this link.

With the expected election date fast approaching, many are asking us about the position of Mouwatinoun wa Mouwatinat fi Dawla (Citizens in a State) towards such an occurrence and how it is preparing for it. The following clarifications aim to shed light on the issue.

MMFD is not currently preparing for elections.

This is not because we think it will not take place. If it were to happen, the Party would study the situation, take a position and would organize itself accordingly. The reason for our current position stems from our diagnostic that the country is going through a transitional phase, a moment of rupture between two political-socio-economic régimes: The first régime, which prevailed until not so long ago, has seen the collapse of its socio-economic fundamentals which led to the results which are obvious to all and that we had repeatedly warned about. The second one remains to be defined, and the transitional phase could lead to three scenarios:

  • A decay of the situation that would lead to a “somalization” of the country.
  • An external arrangement that would establish a quasi-military regime that would maintain an uncertain civil peace.
  • A transition of power to a credible alternative with a clear vision for the new political-socio-economic régime.

We are striving through our work to increase the chances of the third scenario. This transition would take place on the basis of negotiations with sectarian leaders who would be forced by the collapse of the régime fundamentals to recognize the need for it. It is to be noted that most régime transitions are the result of negotiations, whether peaceful or following violence. This negotiation would crystallize the meeting point in time between two curves:

  • A descending curve representing the ability of sectarian parties to maintain control despite the collapse;
  • And the other ascending representing the clarity, credibility and capacity for initiative of the alternative, its project and those who carry it.

That is why the political project published on our website (as well as our project of political economy for the country) is not an electoral program, but a project for the transitional phase that would lay the foundations for a new power structure, that of a true state confident in its legitimacy, a secular state. This is not a slogan. Such a project would have had no chance of seeing the light of day if it were not for the moment of rupture that we are going through and which we have the responsibility to transform into a historic opportunity.

We have had dozens of hours of discussions with most “opposition” parties. Some have reached more advanced stages than others. We have thrived to convince them that this moment of rupture required certain courage on behalf of those claiming to want to have an impact on reality. Unfortunately, those who are ready to take responsibility for such an arduous task during what is arguably one of the most difficult periods in this country’s history are still not many.

We will continue to deploy our efforts to convince those who are supposed to be our partners of the urgency and the need to strengthen this alternative rather than prepare for random elections. In the meantime, as a party, we continue to work towards strengthening the alternative and we call on all citizens who are ready to shoulder their responsibilities to join and/or support us.