What the End of Lebanon's Power Vacuum Would Mean for the Rest of the Middle East

Oct 29, 2016 | 16:50 GMT
Hezbollah supporters hail leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. The group has enough support to block Lebanon from electing a president during its 46th try.
(ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

A massive political vacuum exists in Lebanon. This should be no surprise. The Mediterranean nation is deeply divided and essentially an appendage of neighboring Syria. Lebanon thus finds itself at the mercy of more powerful stakeholders who each try to manipulate ethnic and sectarian divides for their own ends. With regional competition at a peak, it is unsurprising that Lebanon has struggled to form a government and has been without a president for nearly two and a half years. But this impasse might be close to a resolution: signs suggest that a president will finally be elected Oct. 31. This may even signal the start of a broader regional shift....

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