The Lebanese elections, cradle of sectarian democracy of West Asia, has been kicked off and is to continue from May 6 to May 9 of the current year, inside and outside Lebanon. In the current elections, three elements are at play, without consideration of which we cannot analyze the outcomes of the elections.
First Element: The October 17 uprising of 2019 which came about following the relative collapse of the Lebanese economy. This phenomenon , which unfolded following the consequences of the Syrian crisis spillover into Lebanon, the economic sanctions against Lebanon , and the efforts of the American-Israeli axis , along with their regional associates to humiliate this country’s prime minister, and finally the credit-financial collapse on one side and the energy crisis on the other side, coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic and the intensification of the occupation crisis, drove the Lebanese economic and financial stagnation into a worse situation, and as a result the national currency reached its lowest and the poverty figures reached about 70% of the population.
Second Element: The explosion of 2.5 tons of Ammonium nitrate held in the storing spaces of the Beirut Port in 2020, an explosion that with forming a mushroom cloud in Beirut’s sky resembled an atomic explosion, and Lebanon has yet to recover from the scars of this appalling accident.
Third Element: Arising from the hysterical Saudi policies in West Asia. Confusion in handling various projects, on one side, and growing concerns of tipping of the security balance in the fight against the Ansar Allah of Yemen, especially lack of trust in in the US on the other side, caused Saudis to lose their king piece on the Yemeni chess game. The Sunnis of Lebanon, especially the followers of the Al-Mustaqbal (Future) Movement are now craving for a leader of the echelon of the Sayyed (leader) of Resistance, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
In the Lebanese literature and folklore, to the question of why such a Taifi (sectarian) system of governance has taken shape, this response is offered: because the sectarian agreement of Lebanon was achieved in Saudi Arabia’s Taif, and if concluded in Medina (meaning civil in Arabic) , it would have been the outcome of a civil evolution and if in Riyadh (Math in Arabic) , it would have been the outcome of a mathematical evolution. Therefore, principally, realization of change in the equations of the Taif Agreement, due to divided governance among the religions and existing sects, on one side, and the interferences arising from the communications of these religions and denominations with the external elements is a relative or complex matter. It is from here that the mass gatherings in Lebanon are not much of an agent of change.
In addition to influence on internal variables, Lebanon’s external variables are also at play which must be considered when analyzing the political future of this country. Therefore, another pressing topic involved in the current Lebanese parliamentarian elections is , despite the past ones, the international and regional variables, whose profound consequences can already be seen in the country.
In the international variables, there has to be pointed to the following items: First, the importance of the Far East’s status, especially the South China Sea, in the US new strategies, instead of West Asia. An option that has even brought early tactical change of the US strategy in Syria and Lebanon , on one side, and the downgrade of interaction with Israel , on the other side. This variable, also, has revealed its impacts on the Persian Gulf region and has caused tactical changes in the applied approaches of the policies of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council countries, especially in Saudi Arabia’s policies towards the war in Yemen, as well as the Syrian and Lebanese crises.
Second, the Ukraine-Russia war , too, as a new international paradigm, can be influential in changing West Asia, especially Lebanon’s conditions by engaging the west, especially Europe and France on one side, and deepening the Israeli-Russian conflicts.
The third element is the relative collapse of policy of sanctions. With the day by day spreading of the Ukraine crisis, what is clear is that the forces influencing on the sanctions of the two sides of the war have to some extent balanced and therefore, it can be said that to some extent have lost their efficiency. Now if this presumption is right, Lebanon too will benefit from this process. In other words, the self-sanctioning policies or sanctions from outside or security self-injuring through pursuing disarming Hezbollah have paled. This very argument can lead to the strengthening of the March 8-ers in the current elections, excelling by far than the 2018 elections.
But in the listing of the regional variables, it has to be said that due to the following reasons, the status of the Islamic Resistance will be more outstanding than the past:
1-Continuation of the political and security crises of Israel following the fall of Netanyahu cabinet;
2-Fall of Israel’s hegemony , following the emergence of the internal Intifadas, and consolidation of the power of the Palestinian and Hezbollah Resistance in changing the battlefield equations by achieving the technology of precision-guided missiles and invading UAVs;
3- The impact of the international variables on non-continuation of unconditional support for Israel;
4-Recovery of the Syrian sovereignty in the Arab World, and its powerful return to the Arab-Israeli conflicts;
5-Unity of the Islamic Resistance in defending the sanctities of the holy site of the Quds, after the failure of the blind extremist Islamism of ISIS in West Asia;
6-Finally, change of the equations of the Saudi-Yemeni conflicts, through the manifestation of the power of Ansar Allah deep inside the Arabian Peninsula, and further in the UAE.
Although the international equations in today’s post-modern world are the products of the authoritarian liberalism, pacific nations of West Asia look for realization of calm and peaceful coexistence. This trend, by mingling the hard and soft power, is a force to awaken the informed nations of the region, like Lebanon.
The results of the Lebanese parliamentarian elections are indicative of the fact that the election of the Lebanese nation is intelligent and enlightening about the enemies and friends of Lebanon. Therefore, the election results will strengthen Lebanon’s regional status by strengthening national unity and regional integration.
(The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IPIS)