Lebanon’s political showdown… will it be confined to electoral competition?
After the Lebanese Forces Party announced general “electoral rallying”, a multitude of questions arise on why its discourse is in harmony with the Saudi mobilization and US embargo against Lebanon.
The Lebanese Forces Party (LF) in Lebanon announced general “electoral mobilization” on Saturday amid attempts to finalize control over constitutional institutions and escalate the political confrontation.
The confrontation itself would take place by escalating the internal and regional fronts, which raises questions on whether Lebanon’s crisis is limited only to economic and social issues.
Some factions are attempting to portray Lebanon’s electoral battle as a critical juncture. The LF’s announcement of general “electoral mobilization” is understandable as far as electoral races go, but the timing, the tools, and the discourse itself raise a multitude of questions. Why is their campaign primarily based on mobilizing people against Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) and throwing accusations against them? And why are these voices pushing toward further tension, division, and incitement?
It is under these circumstances that a call for national dialogue was launched from the presidential palace in Baabda by Lebanese President Michel Aoun in order to agree on three issues and work on their application in government institutions: administrative and financial decentralization, a defense strategy to protect Lebanon, and a financial and economic recovery plan.
The invitation was met with an apology by former PM Saad Hariri, whereas PM Najib Mikati told Aoun that now is not the time to hold a dialogue.
Saoud: Likely that Geagea would attempt to start security issues
In this context, journalist Ghassan Saoud stressed to Al Mayadeen that the campaign against Hezbollah and the President is derived from their renowned position regarding the “deal of the century” and the naturalization of refugees, adding that the one responsible for the crisis is the one that prevented Lebanon’s oil from being extracted: the United States.
Saoud also considered that it was the US’ policies that forced the Lebanese into migration.
The Lebanese journalist also noted that the US axis was the one behind the displacement of Iraq’s Christians, whereas the Resistance axis protected Syria’s Christians against ISIS. He considered that whoever wishes to speak about sovereignty should go to extract oil from the sea [meaning in defiance of US interference], emphasizing that the real sovereign is the one that stands against all foreign parties interfering in Lebanon.
He clarified that it is likely that LF Executive Chairman Samir Geagea would resort to inciting security issues
Saad: Everyone counting on the upcoming elections
For his part, Professor of International Law Antoine Saad said that Lebanon has lost the makings of a state, and everyone is counting on the next elections, adding that there is a will to do away with the bankruptcy that has plagued all the elements of state-building.
He highlighted that Lebanon currently has no sovereign authority at its land, naval, and aerial borders.
#المسائية | هل إعلان التعبئة العامة التي دعا إليها #سمير_جعجع تصب في تثبيت موازين القوى في #لبنان أكثر من أنها مشروع انتخابي؟ #الانتخابات_النيابية_اللبنانية #حزب_الله #القوات_اللبنانية pic.twitter.com/LOhwKDZhJU— قناة الميادين (@AlMayadeenNews) January 8, 2022
Bazzi: The Lebanese Forces is the only party receiving a monthly payment from Saudi Arabia
Political affairs expert, Wassim Bazzi, saw that the concept of mobilization is usually employed in wars and considered that Geagea is fighting an electoral battle with a military legacy, stressing that the LF chief is the Saudi spearhead in the upcoming electoral project.
Bazzi also said that the Resistance’s weapons were the only means by which Lebanon’s presence and national pride were restored, further clarifying that the LF is the only party that is receiving monthly payments from Saudi Arabia.
Lebanese Forces Executive Chairman Samir Geagea had announced yesterday his party’s complete general mobilization for the electoral battle, calling on turning all of his party’s institutions into electoral centers that would serve the party in the upcoming elections.
The Lebanese Presidency had announced a week ago that President Michel Aoun signed a decree to hold the elections in May 2022.