The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

An early but “must read” by Ibrahim on Lebanon election results

Key points I would add to Ibrahim’s analysis linked below:

It is not technically or even politically accurate to say that Hezbollah has the majority (if numbers bear out), because, first, you must add the biggest Christian bloc, the FPM, to Hizbullah’s count as well as allied, but non-Hizbullah parties in order to make this (still early) claim. Second, the Israelis and others might want to say this (and they are), but the reality is that the ruling direction/consensus over core national issues (especially on stability, security and inter-party conflict) survived without direct blows and, it seems, with numbers that will likely lubricate some kind of extension of this formula. Indeed the previous status quo security consensus/power sharing formula that will likely survive was one buttressed by almost all the parties in the country. This seems largely intact at least numbers wise right now and, again, likely from a political view going forward (remember LF are a key part of the outgoing consensus government! They won big while Kateab was “opposition” and lost some, it seems, as did “hawks” like Rifi who do not support the security consensus nor the Sunni-Shiite power sharing arrangement borne of the terrorism of ’14).

Another key reason why it is analytically incorrect to say Hezbollah now has the majority: Gebran Bassil. The FPM leader has been steadily taking his party away from the 12 year alliance with Hezbollah. He is “gunning” for Berri and Amal movement, he took out “the Resistance” in the Golden Triangle the other night on tv (!) and he may be about to forge the “ancient” Sunni-Maronite alliance with his friend Saad Hariri, who needs him more than ever now. This would mean: The New/Old March 14 rises. In terms of numbers, this means do not count (yet) the FPM bloc as a whole along with Hezbollah and its more direct allies to get some numerical majority. Big shifts may be in the offing, quite apart from whether the Levant blows up in the coming period – a much more dangerous, “structural” dynamic than today’s politics of “small tribes.”

From Ibrahim via Preliminary analysis!

Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 7, 2018 at 12:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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