Monday, June 8, 2009

Lebanon Election:Change Doesn't Come

While conservatives took charge in this past weekend's EU elections, thing pretty much stayed the same in the Lebanon's elections. After all of President Obama's talk of mutual respect between the Muslim and non-Muslim world, Hezbollah still maintained plenty of support as voter turnout exceeded 50%.

The Islamic terrorist group lost only one seat in the Parliament from last year, dropping from 58 to 57 seats. The pro-Western bloc actually lost two seats and is now at 68. The remaining three seats went to independents. Obama praised the election itself, but did not say a word about the actual election results.

I congratulate the people of Lebanon for holding a peaceful election yesterday. The high turnout and the candidates - too many of whom know personally the violence that has marred Lebanon - are the strongest indications yet of the Lebanese desire for security and prosperity. Once more, the people of Lebanon have demonstrated to the world their courage and the strength of their commitment to democracy.

The United States will continue to support a sovereign and independent Lebanon, committed to peace, including the full implementation of all United Nations Security Council Resolutions. It is our sincere hope that the next government will continue along the path towards building a sovereign, independent and stable Lebanon.

Government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who hold power: you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Commitment to these principles of peace and moderation are the best means to secure a sovereign and prosperous Lebanon.

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