Hopes of an agreement to form a government in Lebanon are fading, more than 8 months after the intensification of differences that revealed – in the opinion of many – the impossibility of coexistence between the two teams of President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.
While the Arab and Western initiatives continued to falter, and the intensive visits of diplomats that followed them; The matter ended with an initiative led by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri with the support of his ally Hezbollah, and based on the formation of a government of 24 ministers. Read also Michel Aoun: Banque du Liban bears responsibility for the country’s financial crisis Hariri responds to Aoun’s message: I will not form a government as the president wants Political debates between Aoun and Hariri are escalating.. What are the possible scenarios in the government file in Lebanon? Because of the electricity crisis, Nasrallah says that the party is ready to buy fuel from Iran and transport it to Lebanon
In his speech the day before yesterday, Tuesday, June 8, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah adhered to Berri’s efforts to make his initiative a success. On the other hand, he declared his categorical rejection of calls for early parliamentary elections.
Nasrallah considered it a “waste of time and a distraction for people,” which was interpreted by analysts by sending veiled messages to his ally, the President of the Republic and his political team, after the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, Gibran Bassil, threatened to resign from Parliament to hold early elections before their scheduled date in May 2022, in case the government is not formed .
What was remarkable about Nasrallah’s speech; His call for the caretaker government to move in the face of living pressures and the repercussions of the collapse, announcing the possibility that his party will import fuel from Iran to the port of Beirut in Lebanese pounds, in the event that it continues to be unable to provide solutions to the scarcity of these materials.
Lebanese writer and researcher Saad Mahiou includes Nasrallah’s positions in the political “tactics” category, because he cannot abandon the president’s team as his only Christian ally, nor can he retreat from his adherence to Hariri, to avoid the risk of a Sunni-Shiite political confrontation.
Although Hezbollah is “the strongest team in Lebanon, its weakness lies in the fear of being involved in internal conflicts in favor of one of the two conflicting parties (Aoun and Hariri), so as not to harm its regional and international accounts,” according to Mahiou’s talk to Al Jazeera Net.
The best way out of the impasse, in the opinion of the researcher, appears to be “Nasrallah’s pressure towards forming a government, activating the caretaker government headed by Hassan Diab, or threatening the Iranian card if the authority remains unable to resolve the living situation.”
Waving the import card from Iran, which terrifies the political groups associated with the West and America in particular, does not go beyond the limits of maneuvering; Because – according to Mahiou – “any step of this kind is postponed until after the Iranian-American negotiations.”
How do Nasrallah’s positions affect the choices of allies and opponents?
It is not the first time that question marks have been raised about the nature of the alliance between Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement after the signing of the “Mar Mikhael” agreement paper between them in February 2006, especially since the differences appear from time to time, which prompts Michel Aoun’s team to justify them by their differentiation and non-compliance. to the wishes of Hezbollah.
Therefore, Walid Ashkar, a member of the Political Bureau of the Free Patriotic Movement, asserts that Nasrallah’s stances, which are contrary to their orientations, will not affect their choices if consensus with Hariri continues.
Ashkar defines the current’s options by proposing a law to shorten the council’s mandate; Among them is the tendency for their bloc to resign from Parliament; Consequently, he pushed other blocs to resign, led by the Lebanese Forces party, “because with the resignation of the two Christian blocs, Parliament loses its charter.”
Among the current options are also; The President of the Republic’s call for a national dialogue that brings together political forces, provided that an understanding emerges from it on forming a government and on economic files, “but this option seems difficult because Hariri rejects it, and there are forces that refuse to sit together.”
Ashkar draws attention to the positive atmosphere in which Bassil last met with the delegation of the duo, Amal Movement and Hezbollah, which included Ministers Ali Hassan Khalil and Hussein Al-Khalil, and Hezbollah Liaison and Coordination Officer Wafiq Safa, the day before yesterday, Tuesday, June 8, “waiting for Hariri’s answer to the submitted proposals.” “.
As the duo’s delegation seeks to bridge the gap between the Aoun and Hariri teams; The writer and political analyst, Mounir Al-Rabea, points out that these meetings fall within the framework of the sharing of responsibilities by spreading positivity; To throw each party the ball into the court of the other, thus accusing him of obstruction.
Al-Rabee pointed out – to Al-Jazeera Net – that Bassil sought – during the delegation’s meeting – to redistribute some ministries, specifically the ministries of energy and communications, and also confirmed his refusal for Hariri to name Christian ministers, including the ministers of justice and interior, and link granting his confidence to Hariri’s government to the latter’s meeting with him. .
Hariri, on the other hand, rejects this equation, according to al-Rabee. This hinders the duo’s efforts to solve the government’s crisis, which is in place, while (the endeavors) are based on a new agreement to restructure the government on 3 foundations; Composed of 24 ministers, without any party obtaining what is known as the “blocking third”, and the redistribution of portfolios.
But Walid Ashkar links Basil’s adherence to naming Christian ministers to the principle of parity and unity of standards, “Just as Hariri has the right to nominate Sunni ministers – as the head of the largest parliamentary bloc for his sect – the Free Patriotic Movement has the right as the largest Christian bloc.”
On the other hand, the Deputy of the Future Movement (headed by Hariri) Mustafa Alloush refers to an attempt to succeed in the possible opportunities for the birth of a government capable of negotiating with the International Monetary Fund and external powers, and through which Lebanon can obtain aid to get out of the crisis.
Alloush says that Hariri will resort to apologizing for his mission if it turns out that his presence hinders the formation of the government, however, “we prefer not to burn the stage, waiting for the outcome of Berri’s initiative.”
Alloush stresses that Hariri did not allow Aoun’s team to obtain the blocking third, or to name all Christian ministers; “This is to bypass the powers of the Prime Minister-designate, while Aoun’s team seeks to monopolize government decisions.”
Saad Mahiou believes that the essence of the problem is not in the mechanism of forming the government; Rather, it is in the political class, “which confirms that its sectarian system – which was established about 100 years ago – has failed economically and is currently crowning its political failure.”
Consequently, “all solutions offered by a government that represents the capitalist sectors, the citizens will bear the consequences, and it will save the allies of the financial sectors and businessmen class, just as all capitalist countries did in their crises.”
It seems that the “intelligence” of this regime that “destroyed the lives of the Lebanese” – according to the researcher – was able to reverse the equation; After the “October 17, 2019” movement demanded the overthrow of the government; The popular demand became the formation of the government, “without conceding the political forces to achieve this demand.”
Mahiou considers that early parliamentary elections are out of the question 11 months away, because preparations for them have not started yet, and that many parties have no interest in them. Therefore, “some political forces may seek to cancel all the presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections in 2022, fearing the repercussions of their results, politically, popularly and regionally.”