Paving the way forward in Lebanon
Hezbollah seeks a dialogue with the Future Movement in order to decrease tension on the Muslim street
Hezbollah seeks a dialogue with the Future Movement in order to decrease tension on the Muslim street and it admits that it made a mistake when it toppled the government of Saad Hariri and imposed on the country - and on the Sunnis in particular - a different prime minister. This angered the Sunnis who are loyal to the Future Movement despite statements suggesting support of the movement has declined in several areas. Meanwhile, the Future Movement, along with its allies from the parliamentary majority did not seek to impose a parliament speaker other than Nabih Berri whom the Shiite majority nominated for the post upon the blessing of the religious leadership of the sect. The Future Movement and its parliamentary allies did not do so out of their respect for a pact on which a consensual democratic Lebanon was established; however Berri responded to this gesture with threatening to shut down the parliament if Future Movement deputies did not attend the sessions.
The real problem is in not respecting the pact of dealing with Christians. In 1992, the parliament did not take the Christians into consideration as less than 12% of it (the parliament) were Christians. The quadripartite agreement prior to the 2005 parliamentary elections tried to seek the same policy. And today, the Christians and their religious leaders who have a prominent role in political affairs are not being asked about their opinion on the electoral law or their presidential candidate. What’s happening instead is that Hezbollah continues to reiterate that it adheres to Michel Aoun as its presidential candidate while March 14 parties voice their willingness to give up their candidacy of Samir Geagea in order to encourage the agreement over a third consensual candidate whom everyone accepts.
Will statements on respecting others and their privacy and the willingness to live together turn out to be mere talk?Nayla Tueni
In 2008, Hezbollah’s supporters invaded Beirut’s streets when the government decided to replace a Shiite security official in the airport and control the telecommunications activity in state institutions. This is when the May 7, 2008 events occurred. These events developed into a new reality imposed with the power of arms. Today, there’s talk of security developments that may push the election of a president and take the process in a specific direction. Some countries may overlook certain issues if they actually want to revive the Lebanese presidential affair or maybe Western countries may collude with Iran if Tehran wants to control the Lebanese presidential affair in exchange for making concessions on other issues.
In brief, Hezbollah desires to name a “resistance” president. Even if it doesn’t directly name a president, it specifies characteristics which may only apply to one or two candidates. This is a desire accompanied with Iranian blessing and the Syrian will to resume its tutelage. Will statements on respecting others and their privacy and the willingness to live together turn out to be mere talk? Or will they be transformed into actions?
This article was first published in al-Nahar on January 8, 2015.
Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni