Broader designs

File - Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk meets with Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Latif Derian at Dar al-Fatwa on Nov. 6, 2017. (The Daily Star/ Dalati Nohra)

The picture is gradually growing clearer, and it has become quite evident that March 8 and its sponsors have an ample supply of rabbits in their hats ready to be laid on Lebanon’s political table whether to thwart, foil, procrastinate, pressure or in many cases to force decisions to be reconsidered.

The insistence on a portfolio for the so-called “independent” Sunni lawmakers is just the tip of the iceberg.

Hezbollah’s justification for such a demand that March 8 Sunnis need representation outside of the Future bloc is in fact treading into toxic political strategies. Without mincing words, it’s nothing short of an attempt to force a new game on the national and sectarian level that will throw Pandora’s box wide open.

This attempt to delay the formation of a government at this crucial and sensitive juncture touches on the well-being of all Lebanese, who are already struggling to keep their heads above water as the ailing economy continues to nip at their livelihoods and finances.

Moreover, any attempt to alter the status quo, if allowed to proceed, would create a precedent that in the future would open the way for the creation of new facts in the political arena.

And for those people unable to see the forest for the trees, this insistence on a portfolio for Sunni lawmakers outside Future is just one facet of a much wider attempt to chip away stealthily and steadily at the whole system of governance that has been built on the Taif agreement, whose annulment March 8 has been pursuing collectively and individually for the past 25 years.

Any such reversal would undermine Lebanon’s democracy and dissociation from regional conflicts, to the point that legislation, governance and the country’s political dogma would fall under the thumb of those regional powers that flagrantly support March 8.

The Lebanese should throw off their blinkers and digest what the recent complications have revealed in order to realize the scope and seriousness of the problem.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on November 09, 2018, on page 1.




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