Towards a New Era in Lebanon

  • 13 December 2009

Despite a difficult phase experienced by Prime Minister Sa’ad Al-Hariri in the formation of the Lebanese government, and despite all differences and disagreements that surfaced during the preparation of the ministerial statement, which forced the ministerial committee to hold several sessions until it was able to resolve the issue, the high level of confidence garnered by the government from the parliament, by having an unprecedented majority in Lebanon since the ‘Taif Agreement,’ the end of the civil war and the resumption of parliamentary life, indicate that the country has entered a new era, which underscores the importance of achieving political stability, which Lebanon has been bereft of for the past several years, particularly after the assassination of the former premier Rafik Al-Hariri in 2005.

After three days of debate at the Parliament, the government received the support of 122 out of the 124 members present at the confidence vote, out of a total of 128, which opened the way for the government to confront the great challenges facing Lebanon at the internal and external levels, especially the multitude of issues that have developed in recent years with several internal political disputes and crises that directly affect Lebanese life and security; and external issues that relate to Lebanon’s relations within the Arab, regional and international setting. Undoubtedly, the great confidence enjoyed by the Hariri government in Parliament has opened the road for the state of Lebanon to be actively engaged in international activities and events.

This does not mean that there are no differences within the Lebanese political arena. There are still disagreements, especially over the issue of Hezbollah’s weapons, but the important point is that differences eventually did not affect the formation of the government, nor did they prevent in achieving consensus over Sa’ad Al-Hariri and in confronting the country’s problems. It is clear that some kind of conviction has started to emerge among all Lebanese forces that there is no alternative to cooperation and compromise for overcoming differences, and that the country, its constitution and its institutions, are the overarching framework that everyone should work under, as it is capable to free the country from the standoff and prevent the eruption of conflicts.  The great confidence reposed by the parliament in Sa’ad Al-Hariri highlights the point that he has been able to rally Lebanese and their political forces behind him. It is important that the phase of political momentum should continue, because no setback can be suffered in confronting the challenges faced by Lebanon.