Presenter:
Mr. Jawad Boulos, Member and Secretary of the Parliament of Lebanon

Moderator:
Julia Choucair, Associate & Deputy Editor of the Arab Reform Bulletin, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Jawad Boulos, Lebanese Member of Parliament and member of the March 14 Coalition, discussed post-war reconstruction and the future of Lebanese politics, explaining that the challenges facing the country in the coming years are significant given the extensive damage to Lebanese infrastructure and the economy. The government must first stabilize the political situation in Lebanon if it is to be successful in its reconstruction efforts. Further, such efforts must address issues ranging from controlling inflation to implementing UN Resolution 1701.

During the subsequent question-answer period, participants raised questions about how the Lebanese government would combat corruption in distributing reconstruction funds, setbacks to the privatization of telecommunications and other national industries, the role of Hizbollah in Lebanese politics, Lebanese relations with Iran and Syria, and what steps the international community should take in assisting post-war reconstruction. The majority government’s reconstruction plan includes strengthening the Lebanese army, securing international investment to support rebuilding the economy and infrastructure, and increasing oversight on government spending. Boulos emphasized that while the government does not seek to ostracize Hizbollah as a political party, it believes that Hizbollah has no right to act outside of the Lebanese political party system by having a military force.

Synopsis prepared by Michael Grosack, junior fellow in the Democracy and Rule of Law Project.