Beirut- Lebanese politician and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Farid Makari predicted an endless presidential void in Lebanon. He said that Hezbollah, the Iranian-supported Lebanese force, has its efforts directed towards constitutional amendment and not the current dilemma on the Lebanese presidency. Hezbollah seeks changing the constitution for the sake of guaranteeing a permanent and effective participation in decision making.
MP Makari considered that the Iranian regional play is destructive and is triggered by the U.S. diplomacy on backing down.
MP Makari, a close ally to the leader of the Movement of the Future MP Saad Hariri, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the relationship between the “Movement of the Future” and the “Lebanese Forces”, two parties of the March 14 Alliance, has been deeply shaken.
In his interview, MP Makari also explained that when addressing politics nothing is truly definitive. However, he did also point out a list of violations carried out by the “Lebanese Forces” runs long, in addition to accusing Samir Geagea of terminating the March 14 Alliance after failing to spearhead it.
Makari criticized MP Suleiman Frangieh Jr. on saying that the Hezbollah General Secretary Hassan Nasrallah is the “chief of everyone”. Makari said that Frangieh is free to elect his own chief, however the rest of us prefer for national sovereignty as a chief of all.
On the question of the Feb. 8 presidential electing parliament session, Makari said that Lebanon is a country full of surprises, and unless a miracle happens, the presidential void will prevail. Despite all the developments, the facts have remained constant, and the conditions for a successful election are still not met.
Makari explained on how Hezbollah’s point of view has cleared up during the recent speech of its Secretary General, apparently the presidential void is not a priority especially proven after March 14 Alliance forces naming Hezbollah eligible candidates. Both Samir Geagea and Saad Hariri have proven that they will stretch an arm’s length to elect a president; however, Hezbollah’s play remains on a regional arena.
First, it is clear that Iran and Hezbollah do not want to hand out a leverage point to the coalition force which is confronting them in the region. Second, Hezbollah more than anything, wants to permanently integrate itself into the Lebanese executive government so that lawmaking and participating in fundamental decisive authority is within its capacity. This explains why Hezbollah always try to take over the Lebanese Republic Ministry of Finance; a ministry that rotates among Lebanese political parties. It is further inclined to change the constitution to maintain a permanent ownership over the parliament portfolio.
Despite all that being said, Hezbollah still waits regional developments seen from an Iranian perspective. In his latest speech, Hassan Nasrallah also admitted taking no one into consideration, not even his Lebanese allies, when he took it upon himself to fight in Syrian grounds, which is an eye-opener to the mechanism Hezbollah adopts.
On a security level, the Lebanese atmosphere is relatively stable and secure, which is also backed with an international understanding of the necessity of it remaining the way it is. Economy wise, Banque Du Liban (the Lebanese central bank) is at a very good standing, and branching banks are witnessing an acceptable average profit.
The regional status however was considered unstable by Makari. He said the Russian interference in Syria might have eased certain things, yet complicated many others. The solution for Syria is definitely political based, however it remains vague.
Makari clarified that the Iranian stance is very negative and harms regional balance. Iran has clearly taken advantage of U.S. absence to advance with its monopoly, fighting at Syrian, Yemeni, and Iraqi frontiers. Iran is provoking the whole Arabian Middle East and is provided with a convenient void of U.S. presence.