One of the most significant outcomes of Lebanon’s last parliamentary elections was that it once again, and more clearly, revealed the displeasure of new generations of Lebanese with the sectarianism-based political quota system. And these generations’ rejection of sectarianism and extremism is set to ensure that the reconstruction of their country is built by only qualified people who are capable of taking on leadership roles.
Although the opposition, as groups and people, were successful in extending their gains and achieving a considerable percentage in Parliament, we must not allow our optimism to lead us away from reality. Hizbollah still has seats in Parliament and the government, and it can impose its will on Lebanon and its people, either by constitutional means or by using weapons.
Lebanon absolutely must reassess its political and religious priorities. I’m not sure if some parties were late in making decisions on these issues, but it appears that none of them succeeded in putting in place any meaningful development agenda for Lebanon and its people.
I’m also not sure if it’s in the interests of any party that receives its orders from foreign countries for Lebanon to be strong, successful, and capable of managing its own affairs as an independent country. Because in that case, the state in Lebanon will be reinforced, and will impose its will and be able to limit weapons solely in its hands, which some will reject.
Extremist parties and movements are most common in failed and weak states, such as Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and others. These parties thrive on the continuation of conflict; they mobilise their supporters on this basis, impose their will on the legitimate government, and plunder resources and wealth.
I believe that the results of Lebanon’s recent parliamentary elections came at a good time internationally, as the major nations are preoccupied with Russia’s war in Ukraine and its consequences for Europe, particularly the US.
After the failure of President Macron’s French plan to put Lebanon back on the path to prosperity, Lebanon’s only real hope lies with its Arab brothers, particularly the Arab Gulf states.
Many people were surprised by the outcome of the recent elections in Lebanon. Despite hopes that some “reform candidates” might be able to enter Parliament, no one expected so many of them to be successful. Candidates identified as “October 17 Revolution” succeeded in winning many seats in parliament at the expense of candidates running on “ruling party” lists.
This demonstrates that the October 17 revolution’s flame has not died out in the hearts of the Lebanese. And that the Lebanese youth, who had found no value in protesting in the streets at the time, did not despair. Instead, they chose the path of politics and democracy in expressing their standpoint, shifting the battle from the streets, unions, and universities to Parliament. Today, new legislators who were elected with votes are obligated to work solely for the benefit of Lebanon and its people.
The opposition must remember the lesson of 2016 when it resolved to make sacrifices to support the appointment of General Michel Aoun as the president in the hopes of rescuing Lebanon from its predicament. He and his allies, however, were unable to save Lebanon from its crisis, Instead, the situation deteriorated.
I sincerely hope that the political forces will reconsider and commit to a more serious agreement and commitment to Lebanon’s interests. Today, we have a new opportunity, we hope that Lebanon will pass this tough stage and new test, transcend the current period of misery, and herald in the dawn of a new Lebanon.