How Hezbollah continues to dictate the terms

Only Hezbollah will truly emerge a winner by expanding its share in the Cabinet while weakening both Aoun and Hariri.
by Elias Sakr English

19 December 2018 | 10:34

Source: by Annahar

  • by Elias Sakr
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 19 December 2018 | 10:34

Supporter of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group listen to a speech of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, via a video link, during a rally marking Hezbollah Martyr's Day, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

BEIRUT: After seven months of political bickering, the last of many deals may be soon finalized to break the Cabinet deadlock.

The deal supposedly features concessions from three main parties and was marketed as follows:

The president will cede a cabinet seat from his share while the prime minister-designate will approve the appointment of a minister nominated by his pro-Hezbollah Sunni rivals, rather than a member of the March 8 Sunni group itself.

While this deal is being painted as a three-way compromise, in fact, it is another clear victory for Hezbollah.

Simply because, whoever is assigned to the post, which Aoun relinquished in favor of a Hezbollah-backed Sunni, will ultimately answer to the Shiite group.

So why are all parties intentionally misleading the Lebanese into believing this deal demanded sacrifices from across the board to thwart an imminent economic collapse?

Well, when it comes to Aoun, the president has no interest in sharing with his followers the true cost that this deal carries; a deal under which he will cede veto power in the Cabinet, only because Hezbollah insisted on representing an affiliated Sunni bloc, fully knowing that the deal will come at the expense of Aoun.

Hariri, on the other hand, also has no interest in sharing with his supporters the true price he will have to pay: being forced to relinquish monopoly over Sunni representation in executive power.

Only Hezbollah, not even the Sunni bloc itself, will truly emerge a winner by expanding its share in the Cabinet while weakening both Aoun and Hariri.

While it has become clear that Hezbollah continues to dictate its terms, it remains unclear why the party has greenlit the Cabinet formation now.

In other words, why has Hezbollah waited so long to signal to the Sunni bloc to backtrack on its previous condition of appointing one of its own members in the cabinet when Aoun had implied on numerous previous occasions that he was considering ceding a seat from his share to represent the group?

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