Press Release From the
COUNCIL OF THE LEBANESE AMERICAN ORGANIZATIONS
November 5, 2002
Troubling news from Lebanon revealed that the Constitutional
Council declared that the election of parliament member Gabriel ELMurr is
unconstitutional. The Council then proceeded to appoint Mr. Ghassan Moukheiber to the post
they just vacated by removing ElMurr.
This recent turn of events is yet
another step towards the Syrianization of the country of Lebanon, with the clear intent of changing it
from a democratic nation to a dictatorship. Parliament member Gabriel ELMurr ran for
election, as a member of the opposition, a growing movement, which rejects the economic
policies of the present regime, which have brought the deficit to about 33 billion
dollars. He mobilized the people of the Metn region to participate in the elections to
show that the free people of Lebanon are against these policies and
against occupation and the presence of non-Lebanese forces in Lebanon.
The fact that Gabriel ElMurr won the
elections in the Metn was a big set back for the puppet government. To show their
displeasure with the results of the elections they shut down the Murr Television Station,
MTV, the only Lebanese institution, which supports democracy and freedom of speech and
brings to the people of Lebanon the voice of the true opposition.
Not satisfied with the closure of the
station, the Syrian-controlled government then proceeded to arrest and savagely beat all
those who participated in a sit-in in support of the television station and of more than
five hundred families whose main bread winners were now unemployed. It is worthy to
mention that most of those beaten up or arrested were young students.
Still not quite content with its
accomplishments the regime has now resorted to this last step of stripping Mr. Gabriel
ElMurr from his legally won parliamentary seat in the Metn region. This action is a clear
signal to the people of Lebanon that they can no longer choose their
own representatives; that choice will be made for them in the form of appointments by the
The Council of Lebanese American
Organizations, CLAO, has very serious concerns over the actions of the occupation regime
in Lebanon. It continues to openly violate the
constitutional rights of the people. This policy of silencing those who do not agree with
them, while hiding behind the Syrian occupation forces, will not stop us from speaking up
and defending the freedom, sovereignty and independence of Lebanon.
We call on our US administration and all human rights
organizations to put an end to the oppression of the people of Lebanon. This can only by achieved when all
occupying foreign forces withdraw from Lebanese territories, when legitimate
representatives of the people of Lebanon are elected, and when the people of Lebanon regain their free will and their free
The people of Lebanon cannot continue to live in fear. They
cannot continue to live without dignity.