The promising candidate that was going to replace the outgoing PM Saad Hariri, has withdrawn his name, leaving little hope for a new government to come into motion in Lebanon soon.
Mohammad Safadi, a former finance minister’s name had been proposed by political bigwigs, at the expense of the nation critical of Safadi’s candidature.
Safadi seemed to have taken the cue from the reaction of enraged masses, withdrew his candidacy saying it was too difficult to form a “harmonious” government with broad political support.
Hariri put in his papers on October 29, and Safadi became the first candidate to have won consensus amongst the political elite.
However, the crowd has been against an appointment which does understand the mind of the people and may only again act as an instrument to be exploited by the rich political elite.
In response, looking at the brittle political climate that has ensued post-Safadi’s withdrawal, President Michel Aoun ‘s Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) has now accused Hariri of undermining Safadi’s bid in order to keep the job for himself.
Hariri on his part has been livid with the President’s statement and has called it as an irresponsible attempt to “score points” despite Lebanon’s “major national crisis”.
The unrest has continued to see the closure of banks for most of the last month. This is because banks have decided to impose controls on transfers abroad and US dollar withdrawals too. The pegged Lebanese pound is under pressure on an informal market.
The crowd has understood the political power game behind the appointment of Safadi. With him gone, political analysts believe that Iran-backed Hezbollah and its allies are now left with even fewer options to remote control Iraq.
They will have to push for a close Sunni ally, a scenario that would likely reduce the chances of Lebanon winning international support. Even the political elite have been pushing for Sunny Muslims to be elected.
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