In a major victory to the protests in the country, Independent candidate Melhem Khalaf was elected new head of the Beirut Bar Association after beating, Nader Gaspard, who was backed by the political parties, the Free Patriotic Movement, Lebanese Forces, Future Movement and Progressive Socialist Party.
In an interview with Voice of Lebanon radio station on Monday, Khalaf stressed on the new birth of Lebanon, affirming that the goal of the association is to protect “public freedoms and human rights.”
“We need an independent functional unconstrained judiciary so that the bar association can fulfill its valuable goal,” he declared.
“Without justice, nations fail,” he said, urging trust in a better future to establish democracy and renew the spirit of institutions, which should protect the citizens.
“The Bar association is the cornerstone for an independent judiciary and without it, fighting corruption and enforcing accountability would not be possible,” he added.
Khalaf, a law professor at Saint Joseph University, would be the first candidate without any political affiliations to run the association, substituting Andre Chidiac, who was affiliated to the Free Patriotic Movement.
Lawyers on Sunday gathered at the Justice Palace in Beirut, singing in celebration following the results’ announcement.
For his part, Kataeb leader Samy Gemayel congratulated Khalaf noting that “the train of change is on the right track with the hope of retrieving the country altogether.”