Syria has long been the 800 lb. gorilla in the Lebanese politics, and with elections looming in the near future that is true now more than ever, with the Syria question at the center of the political divide, and the ongoing civil war provoking yet more foreign involvement in the Lebanon vote.
The split is between the Hezbollah-dominated March 8 bloc, the outgoing government, and the March 14 bloc of Saad Hariri, whose last government fell in early 2011. The two sides are always exceedingly close in votes, with a few seats usually the difference in which bloc forms the government.
The Hariri bloc has long disliked the Assad government, while Hezbollah-backed fighters are in Syria fighting with Assad, fearing a Sunni-dominated Syria would shift the balance of power in the region against them.
Whatever happens with Assad, however, both Iran and Saudi Arabia are determined to keep their respective allies in a good position. Since the razor-thin margin could be decided more by electoral law than actual vote, the lobbying has kept the new election law from even being passed yet, delaying the elections for now.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Saudi Airstrike Destroys Yemen Hotel, Kills at Least 60 - August 23rd, 2017
- Latest US Navy Collision Fuels Speculation About 'Hacking' - August 22nd, 2017
- US, North Korea Clash at UN Forum Over Nuclear Arms - August 22nd, 2017
- NATO Chief Declares Alliance 'Fully Committed' to US War in Afghanistan - August 22nd, 2017
- Haley Demands IAEA Launch New Inspections of Iran Military Sites - August 22nd, 2017