Theater of the absurd

The Cabinet formation deadlock has persisted for over seven months now, and what was already a tragedy for a country on edge has turned into a farce - and no one is laughing.

Lebanon is suffering on all fronts and is in real danger, according to the World Bank and ratings agencies. With each passing day, that threat is magnified.

You’d think this would weigh heavily on the consciences of those whose procrastination has obstructed the birth of a government that the country desperately needs. Apparently not.

For a few days, it seemed that perhaps the ship was no longer in uncharted waters. This turned out to be an illusion, as those holding things up showed their real agenda - settling scores or doing their dirty business as faithful proxies.

In the political melee, Gebran Bassil has been true to form, not missing a chance to chip away at others’ powers.

The Amal Movement and Hezbollah had made it clear they would not agree to any change in the portfolios assigned to them. So, after it took months to settle the snags between the Lebanese Forces and the Progressive Socialist Party, a juvenile Bassil had a field day trying to meddle with their portfolio allocations, taking the whole crisis back to square one. The result is no government for the foreseeable future - and that’s the worst gift Lebanon could possibly get this holiday season.

After the election of Michel Aoun as president, the Lebanese could have been forgiven for thinking the Free Patriotic Movement’s lust for power had been satiated.

Yet instead of trying to solve a problem of its own making, the FPM has reverted to one of its favorite sports playing the blame game and pointing the finger at everyone else.

The situation is pathetic, and those behind the delay need to come to their senses and stop trying to take what is not theirs.

The ship is sinking, and the whole country is on board.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 24, 2018, on page 1.




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