Mission and Blueprint

Mission

Kulluna Irada is a civic organization for political reform. We believe we can set the foundations of a modern, secure, efficient, sustainable and just state through strong and fair governance. We are financed exclusively by Lebanese citizens: residents and members of the diaspora who want to bring positive change to their country.

The internal governance of Kulluna Irada requires collegial decision making and involves strict rules to avoid any conflict of interest: members of the board have vowed not to run for elections and to renounce to participate in any public auction.

Kulluna Irada believes in transparency, accountability and citizen participation as major constituents of good governance. We partner with Lebanese non-governmental organizations active in fields that are of interest to us and seek access to the information needed to shed light on the work of public institutions. Our goal is not only to expose issues, but also to propose solutions and work toward sustainably implementing them.

Kulluna Irada believes that in order to influence political reform we need to raise awareness on public issues while actively and constructively working on resolving them. This can be done by engaging constituencies of our society in a holistic way: engaged and concerned citizens, activists, civil society organizations, experts, political parties in power and in opposition, as well as decision makers.

Blueprint

Human Rights and Civic Identity

Respecting human beings and preserving their dignity, freedom, and mental and physical integrity are among humanity’s loftiest ideals. To ensure this, a citizen’s first identity should be a civic one based on justice and equality. Citizens are the source of all laws and regulations; they require nothing to “mediate” between them and the government and state institutions. We must consolidate civic identity and eliminate any legal protection for acts that are harmful or unfair to women and children, and join the International Criminal Court. We must improve living conditions in prisons as well as end arbitrary arrests, torture, and human trafficking.

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The Constitution and the Political System

Lebanon’s system of “consociational democracy” paralyzes the state and uses its powers to serve political sectarianism instead of citizens, meanwhile political practice and laws favor sectarianism, clientelism, and scaremongering. We must improve and develop the Constitution by adopting mechanisms that prevent the blocking of institutions. We must formulate and strictly apply laws that criminalize conflicts of interest, corruption, squandering resources, and misusing public money We must improve the separation of powers and limit national unity governments to extreme cases such as wars. We must gradually adopt the female quota until equality is achieved in candidates and seats, in order to encourage women to enter the political arena. We must lower the voting age to 18, and people should be allowed to vote where they live instead of where their families have been historically registered.

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Sectarianism

The sectarian political system has proven unable to produce citizens or a stable society, while contributing to the spread of corruption and ineffective accountability and governance. A civic-minded government represents the path toward re-establishing a modern, productive and just state that protects democratic differences, in which citizens’ rights are not replaced by slogans about the rights of sects. Abolishing political sectarianism is a fundamental national goal that should be achieved based on a phased plan.

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Personal Status

The freedom of belief, protected by the constitution, must include freedom of conscience that is as sacred as people’s beliefs themselves. We must consolidate freedom of belief by making people choose between a civil or sectarian personal status laws, with the government and the laws as the first guarantors of citizens’ freedoms and rights.

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Social Justice and Basic Services

Social justice has never been a priority for the political system, because poverty and need are used to win votes and consolidate clientelism while ensuring that people gain respect and a decent living must be a priority. Healthcare, education, and pensions for the elderly are natural rights; the government must provide them for everyone. The task of providing a decent residence and job opportunities lies at the core of social justice.

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The Judicial System, Public Administration, and Monitoring the Government’s Work

Political practice has turned the bureaucracy into a tool that serves the political system and its clientelism, and political intervention has impeded the independence of the judiciary and its role as protector of citizens’ rights.

The mismanagement of human, structural and organizational resources, as well as arbitrary employment practices, have generated a bloated, inefficient, and unqualified public sector. Following those claims, alternative administrations and funds were established but are subject to the same type of clientelism.

A system that doesn’t respect the judiciary’s independence cannot be considered a democratic one. Efficiency, transparency, and accountability are the three pillars that lead to a successful public administration. Therefore we must strictly criminalize political intervention in the work of the judiciary or the bureaucracy and we must restructure the central and regional state bureaucracy and enhance and implement laws that grant the public access to information.

MPs, government ministers, category one state employees and senior officials should regularly prepare a statement that includes their properties, their spouses’ and children’s properties, and bank account statements, and forward this statement to a specialized committee.

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The Diaspora

Lebanon’s Diaspora is a source of national wealth, while serving as proof of how the country’s crises have widened. However corruption and economic policies aren’t allowing Diaspora money to be invested in productive industries, which reduces competitiveness and feeds the rentier economy Lebanese model. New members of the Diaspora play an important and direct role in ending the emigration phenomenon and émigrés can help facilitate Lebanon’s integration into the global and regional economy. We must accelerate implementation of the Nationality Law, provide for political representation for members of the Diaspora and enhance economic partnership with the Diaspora. We must establish an independent ministry for Diaspora Lebanese.

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