Lebanon’s vote plunges into its worst crisis since civil war


Mediterranean country celebrates first legislative election since 2019’s mass protests amid political class slander

Hizbul Hamdard
Hizbul supporters in Baalbek.AFP
  • Problem El ‘terrible year’ del Labano
  • explosion Five crises in Lebanon

The brutal economic crisis, the discredit of the political class and the lack of faith in elections as engines of change are acknowledged in India this Sunday. Legislative elections in Lebanon, The appointment is to renew 128 seats in his parliament, but there is little chance that the situation will improve for the average Lebanese. The general perception is that nothing is going to change with these elections.

The ‘Deodar ka Desh’ went to the polls for the first time after plunging into economic and social crisis since the end of 2019. That October, an explosion of mass popular protests called for the departure of the political caste. , which blamed the decline of the Mediterranean nation for its carelessness and corruption. The situation worsened after a massive explosion in the port of Beirut, which killed more than 200 people, injured 6,000 – with consequences for many lives – made 350,000 homeless and a devastated city.

According to the World Bank, it is one of the three worst crises of the last 150 years, The Lebanese pound, which has maintained an artificial parity with the dollar since the civil war, has lost 90% of its value since 2019. Banks have imposed a corrito that has left thousands without access to their savings. According to the United Nations, 80% of the population lives below the poverty line. The state is unable to provide basic services to the population, which lives in the midst of frequent power outages and shortages of gasoline, medicine and basic food.

The United Nations this week accused the government and Lebanon’s Central Bank of creating the situation in the worst economic, social and political cycle since the civil war (1975-1991). “The economic crisis could have been avoided, it was because of wrong government policies” […] and a huge public debt that will condemn Lebanon for many generations”, criticized a report by the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and Extreme Poverty, olivier the shooter,

In this scenario, some changes may bring in legislative elections, which are expected to be repeated. Scheme of distribution of power and customerism, One reason is that in this country where 18 religious communities coexist, there are established quotas for all institutions. The second is that the same faces are presented, except that Saad Hariri, a three-time former Prime Minister and leader of the most influential party in the Surya community. Hariri announced his withdrawal from political life last January and demanded that members of his party, the Future Movement, boycott these elections. They have done so by following the unwritten rules of obedience to the warlords in Lebanon. As a result, the Sun of the Hariri saga, once concluded, will be diluted into hemicycles.

Although it was not one of the majority parties for a long time and was losing prestige, Future had 13 representatives in parliament that was kicked out of elections in 2018. Hariri’s absence in these elections is very symbolic. Forced to resign as ‘chief’ in the face of the October 2019 demonstrations, he returned to office months after the Beirut blasts failed in his attempt to form a stable government. His political comeback can be read as a victory for the society which leveled allegations against the politicians who came to power. But till date no other leader has followed the path shown by him.

Maronite Christian Party free patriotic movement It was the largest group in the Palace of the Great Seraglio, seat of the Legislature, and experts predict that it will retain its numbers. As well as its allies Shia Hizbul and Amal. All three will lead, as in the past, springs of power. His association from the Presidency to Michelle Aunon.

The opposing ideological camp consists of the Lebanese forces of Christian Samir Gegea, arch enemies of Aun and Hizbul, and the Progressive Socialist Party of the Druze. Walid Jumbulate, His opposition to the on-Hizbul-Amal axis would weaken without Hariri. These include civic political movements formed after the social uplift of 2019 and 2020, with proposals for renewal, but in conflict with each other, which have made them lose power in the eyes of voters as alternative bets.

“useless” votes

“It’s hard to think that the revolution was in vain,” laments Wissam Moses, a 30-year-old computer engineer from Tripoli who refuses to travel there from Beirut to cast a blank vote. “It sucks,” he tells online media ‘Now Lebanon’. field of sobriety fertile land, Although the participation of the Lebanese diaspora in the world – which is three times the population living in the country – already accounts for 60%, optimism is moderate. According to the NGO Oxfam’s Forecast on Electoral Participation, 43.55% expected not to go to the polls, noting that there are no “promising candidates”.

“The elections began in October 2019 and will regenerate power by giving it internal and international legitimacy,” Rima Majid, professor of sociology at the American University of Beirut, predicted for AFP.

Election results coming in front of Parliament are three challenges that can be taken forward new political deadlock From his entry into office on 21 May. One is that the chamber’s renewal is to lead a new government, which is at odds with the problems this fragmented country faces. An alternative to getting around them would be to hand it over to the current prime minister, Nayib Mikati. However it clashes with a desire for political renewal.

The hemicycle also has to elect its president, which is a position for the Chi community according to the quota system – the prime minister must be Sun and the president, a Christian. The outgoing President of Parliament is Nabih BerikWho has been in this position continuously since 1992. Removing them from there would create new problems of consensus.

The third short-term political challenge is the election of a new president. The current head of state mandate expires on October 31. “If a new president is installed in the Babada palace on 1 November, the government will be forced to resign”, decrypts Scarlett Haddad in the newspaper ‘L’Orient-le Jour’. For this reason, some experts predict that there will be no new government until the presidential election, but others defend that the country cannot re-enforce a months-long political blockade. The economic crisis is yet to be resolved, talks with IMF, Implement reforms demanded by the international community to unblock millionaire aid… Roads once again lead to Mikati. He has already said that he is ready to continue as Prime Minister.

For all these reasons, Professor Reema Majeed does not think that there will be “any change in the political landscape” after the election. UN reporter de Schutter proposed, “The suffering inflicted on the population can be reversed with a leadership that puts social justice, transparency and responsibility at the center of its actions.” Without renewing its political class, Lebanon will become more polarized and poorer by these elections.

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