Assessments

Why Lebanon Cannot Pick a President

Mar 30, 2016 | 09:16 GMT
The Head of Lebanon's Shiite movement Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, is seen on a giant screen as he addresses the crowd in a televised speech from an undisclosed location during a rally held in the southern suburbs of Beirut on February 16, 2016, to mark the anniversary of the Israeli killings of Lebanese Hezbollah commanders Ragheb Harb, Abbas al-Mussawi and Imad Mughnieh. Mussawi was killed on February 16, 1992 in an Israeli air raid on Nabatiyeh, Harb was assassinated in south Lebanon during Israel's occu
Led by Hassan Nasrallah, shown here giving a televised speech before a crowd of followers, Hezbollah adamantly opposes any Lebanese presidential candidate who will not support the organization's strategic goals.
(ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

Since President Michel Suleiman left office in May 2014, Lebanon's political blocs have failed 36 times to agree on his replacement. Hezbollah has been active in keeping the parties at loggerheads, refusing to support any presidential candidate who will not fully embrace the group's agenda. On top of Hezbollah's internal objectives, the aims of its chief patron, Iran, are contributing to the organization's intransigence. Although regional dynamics have traditionally influenced Lebanese politics, heightened competition in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran Middle East makes the current political crisis in Lebanon all the more difficult to resolve. ...

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