| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Is Mikati and his government held hostages to Hezbollah?

The era of “seriousness” has begun for the Mikati government. The play of trust ended, and after that the Mikati visit to Paris and London ended. And the beginning of the era of “seriousness” has begun assumes two things. The first thing is to start serious talks with the International Fund to get Lebanon out of its predicament, and the second thing is to start preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections. In both cases, Najib Mikati and his government seem hostage to Hezbollah. In the ministerial statement, the talk about economic reform was general and vague. Mikati and his ministers know perfectly that there is no single economic vision that unites them. What Hezbollah believes in, for example, on the economic level, cannot meet with the beliefs of those who came to the ministry from a financial and economic background. How will Mikati deal with this fact? Is he able, for example, to convince Hezbollah of the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund and the demands it raises?

The second matter is the elections scheduled for next spring. Indications have begun to emerge confirming the endeavor of concerned political forces, led by Hezbollah, to circumvent its results in advance, by depriving expatriates of the right to vote. And this is totally normal. The party knows that its weapons have no control outside Lebanese territory, and therefore it fears that the voices of the expatriates will not be in its favor, which will affect the existing balance of power in Parliament. How will Mikati act in this case? Will his decision stem from the Lebanese interest and apply the “Lebanon first” saying, or will he bow his head to the storm and turn it to become: Hezbollah and Iran first and last?

  • Sawt Beirut International