I believe that there is no explanation for President Lahoud’s grip on power, in the light of demands of the Lebanese majority calling for his resignation. Apart from a demonstration in which more than one million Lebanese people had marched calling for Lahoud to quit, numerous leaders of religious and political parties in Lebanon had argued against Lahoud’s persistence to remain in power.
President Lahoud was introduced to presidency in Lebanon under exceptional circumstances. The spreading of public opinion in Lebanon considers Lahoud a president who had been imposed upon the Lebanese people. President Lahoud himself knows well that Lebanon of today is not the Lebanon of the past and that the internal political situation and regional relationships had shifted after the martyrdom of late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Lahoud realizes completely that there are earth-shattering transformations in international positions with clear examples of a number of international politicians who came to Lebanon and met the Lebanese Prime minister and other ministers whilst refusing to meet the Lebanese president.
The resignation of President Lahoud will never be regarded as a political defeat but rather the opposite. If Lahoud prefers the stability of Lebanon’s internal and external affairs to his post as Lebanese president, fully aware that the two can longer be achieved together, then this would be an audacious act through which he will be respected more. Other factors, including accusations made against Lahoud claiming that he supports violations made by secret police agencies, which had operated during the old security system surely push Lahoud towards resignation, and to renounce the tenaciousness that he has shown in holding onto power.
President Lahoud will serve his country more successfully by resigning. The vast coalition against him has even permeated to the Lebanese factional fabric. Moreover, major Lebanese Christian parties are currently calling for the resignation of the President. Given all these factors, Lahoud’s firm grip on power will only be explained as obstinacy at a time when his resignation would be appreciated and regarded as a sacrifice of personal benefits for the sake of Lebanon’s interests.
If the choice will be between political stability and social harmony on one hand and the resignation of President Lahoud on the other, then Lahoud’s resignation, when presented, will be considered the source of social and political stability and will be respected even by his political opponents. If this was to happen, much turmoil in Lebanon will be eliminated.
Nowadays, Lebanon is in great need of downplaying political action and minimizing fiery statements in Lebanese political dialogue. Perhaps the resignation of President Lahoud could be a step towards achieving conciliation and rising peacefully above this critical stage.