Not many figures within Lebanon’s March 14 coalition may agree with leader Saad Hariri’s initiative to nominate MP Suleiman Franjieh for the presidency.
However, some have accepted the idea, even if reluctantly, as it seems impossible to find an alternative solution that ends the presidential vacuum that has lasted for more than a year and a half now.
Hariri’s initiative exposes two major parties in Lebanon. The first is the Free Patriotic Movement. The second party is Hezbollah.Nayla Tueni
It is unclear whether Hariri suggested the idea to expose political parties’ intentions of obstructing the process of electing a president regardless of whether the candidate is a centrist or like Franjieh, who has extremist views regarding the Syrian regime, illegitimate arms in Lebanon, participation in the Syrian war, and other issues.
What is certain is that Hariri’s initiative exposes two major parties in Lebanon. The first is the Free Patriotic Movement - the only interest its leader Michel Aoun has in the presidential affair seems to be imposing the idea of “me or no one else.” Aoun rejects any of his parliamentary bloc’s members becoming president.
The second party exposed is Hezbollah, which wants to suffocate the presidential process, control all aspects of political life in Lebanon, and further its regional interests. Whether Hariri’s initiative succeeds or not, what is certain is that Hezbollah aims to further obstruct the country and weaken state institutions so it can take them over.
This article was first published in an-Nahar on Dec. 28, 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