The words Lebanon and No Government have become sort of synonyms. We haven’t set the standards yet in time without government but I believe we’re very close, if not yet over the threshold, to being without government the most often.
The long stretches of us not having a government for the past two years has been understandable. In a country like Lebanon where each politician and party want to secure a piece of the pie, power struggle was the key reason why the country remained functioning on the bare necessities for long periods of time.
However, this time around, there is no power struggle when it comes to government formation. The majority at the time is now a minority in parliament and, unlike the minority at the time, have decided not to participate and be a true opposition.
So the key hurdle is within the former opposition, current majority.
Let us rewind a little.
Back in the days of power struggle between majority and opposition, they main debate was on number of ministers the opposition was allowed. When that was settled, the debate shifted on which ministers. When that was settled, one man, Michel Aoun, kept hitting at it until he bored everyone out of their heads.
Forward to present day. The debate over number of ministers allocated for the opposition is nonexistent. So the whole debate is on who, among the parties in the majority, gets which seats. And naturally, Michel Aoun has hell breaking loose.
Not only does he want to cut down from the president’s agreed-upon share, but he also wants key ministries in government and have these ministries taken up by select people of his tight-knit circle of trust. Why? to “change and reform” them.
This would have been very acceptable hadn’t Mr. Aoun fought to increase the Lebanese president’s share in the government when Mr. Aoun was not in power. This would have been acceptable as well hadn’t Mr. Aoun been a staunch advocate for the fortification of the rights the Lebanese president should have. This would have been acceptable also if Mr. Aoun, the person who calls for a non-feudal political system in Lebanon (where son does not inherit from father), hadn’t already made a big deal of making his son-in-law, who lost in his district’s elections by a rather wide margin, minister, over and over again. Moreover, this would have been acceptable had Mr. Aoun actually proven that he is all about change and reform. But alas, he has only proven to be the opposite.
I am not a person to follow blindly. I am also not a person to criticize left and right, just because I don’t like said person. But Michel Aoun and co haven’t done anything yet not to get me critical of them. Not only is he proving to be a hurdle in anything this country goes through, but it’s getting to seriously overblown proportions where we need to stay without government, just because he feels like dragging things on.
And what is sad is that his followers take it as a sign of power that he can do this. What they don’t know, however, is that their allies want to give them this false sense of power, so when they take out the safety mat from underneath their feet, getting them to topple on their pristine teeth, these allies would look at their aching faces and laugh.
And where would we all be? in a deep political abyss.