Lebanon’s indicators and the Rifi tsunami
Last week’s municipal elections in Lebanon revealed changes among the public
Last week’s municipal elections in Lebanon revealed changes among the public. The young generation within political parties has begun an internal revolution, as Progressive Socialist leader Walid Jumblatt acknowledges, citing his son Taimour within his party.
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea noted the same thing, saying the elections were an indicator of “Lebanese anger and the youths’ will to achieve change.”
The “Rifi tsunami” occurred, in reference to the victory of the electoral list backed by former Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi in Tripoli.
The list won despite the alliance against him of influential, wealthy parties backed by former Prime Ministers Najib Miqati and Saad Hariri, and former Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi. This tsunami has changed the political map.
The municipal elections thus exposed people’s anger against what they describe as “political clientelism”Turki Al-Dakhil
Interior Minister Nohad al-Machnouk voiced anger over the description of Rifi’s victory as a tsunami, saying it was too early to talk of major changes on the ground.
However, the elections were the first indicator of Lebanese voters’ longing to perform their electoral duty. Parliamentary elections have not been held as MPs terms have been extended.
The municipal elections thus exposed people’s anger against what they describe as “political clientelism.”
The movements that lost in the elections must review themselves. As Saudi ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Assiri said, Saudi Arabia encourages the national achievement in Lebanon, and stands equidistant to everyone as it is not fair that the losses of a certain party be blamed on Saudi Arabia, which has served Lebanon like no other.
This article was first published in Okaz on June 6, 2016.
Turki Al-Dakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.