| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

Sanioura breaches Future boycott, and the European Union decides to monitor elections

Almost a month after the head of the Future Movement, Saad Hariri, announced his, and his team’s suspension of political work, one of the most prominent faces of the Future, former Prime Minister Fouad Sanioura, announced the decision not to suspend the political work of the Sunni sect. Sanioura spoke in his personal name, as he said, but he hinted at coordination with Presidents Najib Mikati and Tammam Salam, regarding all decisions that will be taken for the next stage. Sanioura said directly, the Sunnis should not boycott the elections, not by nomination or voting, because the crisis is not a crisis of a group or a sect, but rather a crisis of a nation. He remionded of what happened with Iraq’s Sunnis, who boycotted the elections and politics in 2003, and have not been able to return until today. According to Sanioura, the title of the battle is the recovery of Lebanon kidnapped by Iran and the disbanding of Hezbollah’s weapons, because with the existance of its weapons, it is no longer possible to build a state. It is certain that before Sanioura’s speech is not the same as after, at the electoral scene, and the most prominent question is whether his words will liberate a lot of those who have hesitations among the Sunnis in general, and the Future in particular, whether regarding candidacy, and even in the polls, and we have learned that other figures from the Future will follow Sanioura’s example. The first reaction from the circle close to Prime Minister Saad Hariri was an expressive tweet by the Secretary-General of the Future Movement, Ahmed Al-Hariri, who reflected his refusal to circumvent Sanioura in the next stage. Ahmed Al-Hariri published a picture of Saad Al-Hariri and wrote, “only your stance represents me.” Note that Sanioura confirmed that he is not in the process of inheriting Saad Hariri’s leadership.
Pending that the Sunni scene becomes clearer in the coming days, the European Union announced today that it has decided to send a mission to monitor the parliamentary elections, in implementation of the request of the Lebanese Ministry of Interior. The EU’s monitoring is not new news. The EU has previously carried out such a task in 3 previous parliamentary elections, the first in 2005, the second in 2009 and the third in 2018, knowing that the EU’s monitoring of Lebanon’s elections does not go beyond the technical framework , presenting recommendations that the relevant Lebanese authorities never considered.
In the report submitted by the European Union mission regarding the 2018 elections, which included about 88 pages, the mission recorded many observations and made recommendations, which sources in the European Union say that the Lebanese authorities did not follow this time as well, including granting the supervisory body complete financial and administrative independence from the Ministry of Interior, and the implementation of the law that allows voters to cast their votes in the place in which they live, taking into account the secrecy of the ballot in the procedures adopted for counting the votes of expatriates.