| 4 July 2022, Monday |

Introduction to SBI news bulletin: Are we living in a country or a shopping mall?

Is this a country or a shopping mall? Is everything in it for sale or purchase? Why are we asking? Because what is happening between the Amal-Hezbollah duo and the Free Patriotic Movement against the backdrop of the contest for the presidency implies that the logic of the shop is far stronger than the logic of the state.

We first assumed that the open bazaar between Amal and the present government would just comprise trading between the presidency of the parliament and the deputy presidency, or that it may be enlarged to include the parliament’s office. Although the situation is completely terrible, we accepted it since politics is all about “give and take.”

However, it becomes clearer by the day that the true trade is broader and bigger than the apparent exchange. The leader of the Free Patriotic Movement is demanding exorbitant fees to back President Nabih Berri in his bid to lead the parliament.

Of course, he seeks legislative gains, but he also wants governmental wins in the next administration, and he wants to talk about the first presidency’s file. Gebran Bassil seeks to get rid of several possible presidential candidates, led by Army Commander Joseph Aoun, through a Council of Ministers resolution.

Did Berri agree to Bassil’s terms in his struggle to retain his position as Speaker of Parliament? Is this why he convened the Parliament on Tuesday? Will his resistance to the current and the covenant make him stronger than yielding to blackmail? Tuesday will arrive anyway!

  • Sawt Beirut International