| 30 May 2024, Thursday |

Sawt Beirut International’s News Bulletin- May 27, 2021

In today’s news bulletin:

  • Stumbling in the formation of the government is the master of the situation… and the army commander is heading to Washington after Paris
  • The repercussions of the economic crisis affect the International Tribunal. Will Lebanon pay its share of budget?
  • Policy destabilizes and restrains the General Labor Union, yesterday’s strike ended before it began

Neither to the East nor to the West. These two “nos” were the ones that made Lebanon in the 1943. The national pact that we are praising to this day was based on these two, and it is the covenant that led to the birth of the independence state. Today, after 78 years since the two “nos”, it seems that we will return obediently to the time before it and the reason is the formation of the government. The team of the President of the Republic discovered belatedly that there is no possible way to get rid of Saad Hariri, so it is likely that he will return to a kind of rational necessity. Also, the designated prime minister finally realized, after bitter experiences, that he could not move from the assignment stage to the composition stage if his relationship with the president of the republic continues as it is. Therefore, he may return to accepting the logic of compromise. Can these two nos lead to the birth of the government?

In parallel, the visit of the Armed Forces Commander, General Joseph Aoun to Paris is still under the spotlight, especially as it was remarkable in its timing and content. It is sufficient to point out how French President Emmanuel Macron deliberately met the army chief at the Elysee, in an explicit and direct deviation from the French presidential protocol. If we link what happened in Paris and what happened in Beirut when the French Foreign Minister visited Lebanon, we would realize the essence of the French message. The French authorities want to tell the Lebanese leaders that they have lost hope in them and no longer see any benefit in dealing with them, and therefore they are betting on the independents and the forces of civil society, whom Jean-Yves Le Drian met in Lebanon, and on the army whose leader Emmanuel Macron met in Paris.

It is clear that the path will not stop here. Rather, it is a natural continuation that will be evident in the parliamentary elections in the spring of next year, and in the presidential elections that will follow in the fall. We are, therefore, in the midst of a transitional phase that will extend to the fall of 2022, that is, to the election of a new president of the republic. Will we pass this phase with a “double no” government and a settlement of necessity, or do we pass it without a government? This is the big question that the results of Berri’s initiative will answer in the next two weeks. Let us wait and hope for the best.