Beirut – The Syriac Union Party in Lebanon, at its headquarters in al-Bouchrieh in Jdeideh, organized a conference on federalism in Lebanon, “The Centralized Political System is a Failure – Federalism is a Sound Solution”. Speakers were Dr. Alfred Riachi, founder and secretary general of the Continual Federal Congress, an organization committed to establishing federalism in Lebanon, and the chairman of the Universal Syriac Union Party in Lebanon Ibrahim Mrad.
After the national anthem, Mrad gave a speech in which he emphasized that Lebanon and its people(s) deserve the best political system suitable for the pluralistic and sectarian society that Lebanon is. As a political system, federalism is the best solution for Lebanon. It is a much discussed topic among politicians, academics, and activists in the Middle East and around the world.
Lebanon is in crisis. Anti-government demonstrations have been going on for months now. The economy and banking system have come to a standstill and the sectarian political foundation in the country is shaking. Viewing the current turmoil in Lebanon, Lebanese society across all denominations is clearly sending the message to the established political order that change is unavoidable and necessary.
“Our assumption is that within the next couple of months, big political changes will come about in Lebanon and the Middle East. The Syriac Union Party presents and favors federalism as the most suitable political outcome,” said Mrad. “We will not be satisfied to continue living under a centralized political system that has proven unsuccessful. Federalism is a system that maintains pluralism and true coexistence without parasitizing on each other.” Mrad further emphasized that “it is one of the finest systems and it develops countries and preserves their diversity of peoples. It is not division.” He declared that his Syriac Union Party will stay committed to achieving this goal of federalism. Without federalism Lebanon will continue to decline and be internally conflicting and divided.
In his lecture, Dr. Alfred Riachi, a Syriac-Maronite businessman and philanthropist, also adhered to the view that a centralized political system has proven a failure and it has created sterility in all fields within Lebanon; “The federal system as adopted and practised in the most developed countries of the world, would also enable us Lebanese to develop our homeland and stop the control and domination of one political or sectarian party over other parties. Each group would have its communal rights and can maintain its presence, existence and continuity without fear of disappearing.”
The Syriac Union Party is a Lebanese Syriac political party advocating Syriac community rights in Lebanon and strives to achieve independent representation for the Syriacs in Lebanon. Syriacs predominantly live in Beirut and the 30.000 Syriac constituents in Beirut have no official political representation of their own in Lebanese government bodies.