LEBANESE PRESIDENT FOR BRAZIL, BUT NO PRESIDENT IN LEBANON

 

15 MAY 2016

LEBANESE PRESIDENT FOR BRAZIL, BUT NO PRESIDENT IN LEBANON

With the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, facing a challenge to oust her, her replacement, Michel Temer, is poised to take over as president of Brazil. Even before the fact, and as the possibility arose, villagers of his parents' home town in Lebanon started celebrating. Mr. Temer, originally Mr. Tamer, comes from a village in the north Lebanese region of Koura, known for its olive oil. They already built a garden in his name, a victory arch, and a sculpture bust of his father, who immigrated to Brazil.

Actually, Mr. Michel Temer, who represents São Paulo, had visited Lebanon in 2011 and received Lebanese nationality, so he is also a citizen of Lebanon, which made some members of the Lebanese parliament so proud that they started sending congratulatory cables - although they could have complemented it better if they were able to get together to elect a president.

It is really farcical that euphoria for an expatriate in Brazil did not persuade Lebanese politicians to shift their interest from internal haggling to getting something done about filling the post of the president. Officially, according to the Lebanese constitution, the president is the symbol of the state and its official representative to the world. For about two years, bickering politicians have been claiming that they are awaiting an arrangement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the US and Russia, Syria and Saudi Arabia, Gulf countries and Europe - anybody else but themselves. Actually, they have not even agreed to solve the garbage problem, which already initiated a very public movement with placards around the parliament pronouncing "You Smell."