"Who to Congratulate?"
 By: General Michel Aoun
 (Translated by: Elias Bejjani)
 26 May 1998

 An election tradition in countries where democracy is deeply-rooted requires losers to congratulate the winners immediately after announcement of official results, and await future competitions. This is a very important civil tradition, for it creates a receptive mentality in which winners remain humble and losers free from grudges.
 This traditional conduct is applicable in developed countries because election procedures are conducted in accordance with fixed standards and rules. Officials in charge of elections respect democratic procedures. The practice of such a tradition makes a smooth transition of authority possible without dramatic incident. The winners who were in the opposition take office to become the ruling authority, while the previous officials of authority leave office to become the new opposition.
 We respect this tradition and insist on its practical application. The question is: Can we apply it without breaking rules and violating moral standards?
 How can we congratulate the puppet's puppet, who should be handed over to the judiciary and charged with treason, a treason all the more insidious because it is integrated in his daily life?
 Do we congratulate an official who won his seat by the votes of strangers who did not have a fixed address, or even a known identity? Strangers traveled from one city to another shoring up the votes of regime nominees who appeared to be losing, giving them the illusion of numerical superiority.
 How can we congratulate winners that took advantage of the poor, manipulated their poverty, leading them to voting booths like sheep dragged to a slaughter house, and using regime and occupation military personnel to execute their dirty work?. How can we bless those who intentionally dropped voters' names from voting schedules, purposefully committed errors in registering them, and did not correct the matter in due time?
 We congratulate those who won because of their credibility, hard work and patriotic choices. These are the resistance, the opposition. We ask them to continue the struggle with the same spirit, God bless them.
 Some of the winners and their Minister of the Interior will have to answer to the judiciary for various charges of fraud stemming from their continuing rape of Authority. Their voices will be heard by the investigating judge only, unless by fate the people get them to them first and impose their own justice.