Do we need to read the constitution in order to know what is the required quorum to elect a president for Lebanon? The answer is no. All we need to do is to figure out the routing that would take Lebanon through the hardest possible path and then we extract the answer. Indeed, every phase the country went through has been a hard one resulting from a sparking of differences in opinion between constituencies. To list the latest few:
1) Hezbollah’s right to kidnap Israeli soldiers off the border, triggering a war that makes half of the population traitors for not agreeing with it
2) The government is no longer constitutional because the Shia’a ministers resigned, thus giving the right for any community to quit in the future
3) Occupying the capital’s down town for 9 months is a naturally democratic means to topple any government in the world
4) Closing roads and burning tires is in the name of citizens’ freedom of movement and expression
5) Closing the door of the parliament is a privilege given by the constitution to the Speaker
This time it is the presidential election that is at stake, and the quorum is the manipulative tool that the minority will use to make Lebanon get another good chunk of hard times.
And the question remains: do we need to read the constitution in order to know what is the required quorum to elect the next president of Lebanon? Let us see if we can find the answer without going through the texts.
We will analyze a simple scenario whereby the majority has 51% of the members of the parliament and the minority 49%. If all of them go to the parliament, obviously the majority wins. So far, the minority in Lebanon has never acted as a minority, and therefore, would decide to boycott the elections: no quorum, no elections. Since the minority can’t get its candidate through, then let the country stay with no president, until the majority understands the minority’s meaning of democracy.
Let us extrapolate that same example whereby several parliamentary blocks put together 66% of the members of the parliament that are all in favor of electing the next president. The next block in size has 34% and decides to boycott the election: no quorum, no president.
Who can believe that the Lebanese constitution is meant to say that 34% of the members of a parliament, that represent a minority in any democracy of these modern worlds, can simply paralyze a country? Nobody can, of course.
This is why, and without reading the constitution, we can safely say that the quorum required to elect the President of the Republic is 51%. Surprisingly enough, the legal texts are in line with this conclusion.