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“There is no room for maneuvering”…International pressure to complete Lebanon’s elections on time

And last week, the UN Security Council stressed, in a statement, “the importance of holding free, fair, transparent and inclusive elections on schedule.”

A state of anticipation prevails in the political circles inside and outside Lebanon about the fate of the elections scheduled for next May, especially after former Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his withdrawal from political life, and his bloc in the “Future Movement” called for taking the same step and not running for the parliamentary elections, or not Submit any nominations.

Also, in light of statements by Hezbollah militias and their allies, they downplay the importance of the elections and say that they will not witness drastic changes in the composition of the parliament, which the upcoming elections will bring.

The elections expected next May are the first to choose 128 members of parliament since the October 2019 protests, in which the numbers of participants were sometimes estimated at hundreds of thousands, in a country of 6 million people, targeting political elites that many see as a reason for corruption and mismanagement for decades. .

Hezbollah and its allies maneuvers

Commenting on the statements of the US ambassador to Lebanon, the Lebanese writer and political analyst, Fadi Akoum, said: “Her statements are directed at Hezbollah and its allies, especially as it appears that there are actual maneuvers on the ground to postpone the parliamentary elections for an indefinite period, leading to their cancellation.”

He added, in statements to “Sky News Arabia”, that “despite what Hezbollah’s allies appear to confirm the necessity of holding elections, it is an unreal image, because not holding them is in their interest.”

He pointed out that “even if the elections are held, there will be a case of manipulation of voter turnout and sectarian and religious mobilization, because Hezbollah and its allies are the most funded and controlled on the ground.”

Akoum explained that “international positions come after international political intersections, and the question of whether or not elections may be linked to regional and international deals that may take place in the next few period, and thus Lebanon may be exposed to more political turmoil or may enjoy a state of calm, which may allow the elections to be held in the country.” Which has become in the hands of the Iranian sponsor, and the rest of the sponsors may not be able to withdraw Lebanon from the Iranian grip for political, economic and security reasons.”

He pointed out that “Western countries and Washington have previously tried sanctions and pressures, and unfortunately, they did not bring any result, and although they harmed the Lebanese people in one way or another, but they were a means of pressure on the real criminals, but we saw that there is no value for the Lebanese state or the Lebanese citizen with them, but rather all of their concern. Only their internal political project and the implementation of Tehran’s agenda.”

He continued, “The result will only be through political deals, which may enable Lebanon’s true friends to exert pressure to obtain the greatest amount of gains.”

No room for maneuver

The US Ambassador to Beirut, Dorothy Shea, said in a press statement that “the parliamentary elections in Lebanon must be held on time,” stressing that “there is no room for maneuver.”

Karim Bitar, Director of the Institute of Political Science at Saint Joseph University in Beirut, commented: “The Amal movement, to which Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri belongs, in addition to the Free Patriotic Movement to which President Michel Aoun belongs, will be the biggest losers, and they may push for a delay. Pointing out that the two allies of Hezbollah have been regressing since 2019.

Bitar added: “When Hezbollah sees its main allies in a weak position, this may also motivate it to work to postpone the elections, in case there is a threat of losing the parliamentary majority.”

A few days ago, Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General, Naim Qassem, said: “We conducted opinion polls in the 15 electoral districts, in a scientific way, so that our assessment was not based on perceptions, so it became clear to us that the election results will be close to the composition of the current parliament, with minor changes that do not affect over the general structure of this council.

And he added: “And accordingly, we say to those who build many hopes, put your feet on the ground, because the results will be close with some changes, and the reason is that the political forces that were nominated in the past and obtained the Parliament are the same political forces that nominate, and will take representatives and have representatives in the Parliament. Parliament, whether their name is authority, opposition, or otherwise.

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