The new incoming Prime Minister in Lebanon Hassan Diab is not getting a warm welcome from any quarter. Demonstrators entered their 67day of protest against a corrupt government and are demanding a complete new makeover with no representation from the political elite.
Even protest leaders have boycotted talks with me on the pretext that he is being backed by the Free Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah, the Amal Movement, and their allies.
In his favour, Diab has said that he intends to form a limited government of 20 ministers that will “fight corruption, and boost economic and financial recovery”. Diab is a university professor and has been a former education minister.
Since the step down of Hariri on October 29, the country’s economic position has hit rock bottom and the unemployment crises has worsened.
Political analysts have called Diab a compromise PM that still has the backing of a party that has been sanctioned by the US as a terrorist outfit.
Both Hezbollah and Amal are Iranian backed outfits that have been seen retaliate to civil disobedience movement with harsh actions and gunfires. Indeed, Hezbollah’s agenda is to ensure that the existing political order remains, one that maximizes their influence and minimizes responsibility.
There has been a cozy arrangement doing rounds which is what the civilian population is now completely against. They want a total technocratic government. The rule was that the prime minister should always be a Sunni, and the speaker of parliament will unfailingly be a Shiite.
While Diab is trying to get the leaders of the civilian groups to come down to a point of dialogue, most have refused to cooperate. As of Hezbollah, it will not stop at anything to ensure it remains in power, even if it has to resort to violence. The state of civil disobedience might take the form of a horrible civil war that shook the country in the 90s. One would hope it does become a massacre of the kinds that Iran and Iraq have recently seen when people have taken matters in their own hands and refuse to be pressured by autocratic leadership.
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