Monday, June 8, 2009

Thoughts on the Election in Lebanon

While I am pleased Hezbollah did not win this election I don't think much has changed. The euphoria will be shortlived.

The pro-Western alliance of Sunni Muslims and Maronite Christians might have a majority in Lebanon's parliament but Hezbollah has the guns.

Remember what happened a little over a year ago when the pro-Western government wanted to jettison Hezbollah's telecommunications system and fire one of their people as the head of security at Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut? Hezbollah took up arms and in a matter of days they gave Hezbollah a veto and control of key ministries in the government via the Doha Agreement. I can't see any of that changing. More to the point I cannot envision Hezbollah voluntarily relinquishing its power.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is expected to comment on the election today. Frankly, a lot of people thought Hezbollah would win outright. No doubt Nasrallah thought that as well. If he were to say the election results were illegitimate who could stop them from taking over the country? A If he does accept the results he is going to want "guarantees" and will make known the consequences if he doesn't get them.

The pro-Western alliance won the election but Hezbollah has the power in Lebanon.

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