Political situation in Lebanon is melting pot of contradictions, says analyst

The current political situation in Lebanon is beginning to look like a mini-melting pot of major contradictions, the chief of the Middle and Near East Center at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Vladimir Fitin, told TASS, when asked for a comment about Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s decision to approve a new government, which caused another wave of street protests in Beirut.

The past few months have seen no change for the better in that country, Fitin said.

"None of the measures taken in a bid to cause the protests to subside and form a new government achieved their aim. Still unresolved are such issues as the people’s grave economic situation, thriving corruption at the upper tiers of power, no prospects for youth and joblessness," the analyst believes.

"The street protesters are demanding total replacement of the system of government and a different system of quotas for the corresponding ethnic and religious groups. None of the problems has been resolved yet [since a new Cabinet of Ministers was formed]," Fitin remarked, adding that after brief decline the wave of unrest swept the streets with renewed strength.

"The unrest in Lebanon looks like a melting pot. The cover may give in at any moment," he warned. "The simmering contradictions are very hard to resolve."

Political crisis in Lebanon

On December 19, Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun instructed independent Sunni politician Hassan Diab to form a new government after the head of the coalition Cabinet, Saad Hariri, had to quit amid mass protests. The newly-appointed prime minister has promised to present a realistic plan for reform and declared that he shared the demands of the popular protest movement, which, he said, turned political life in the right direction.

On January 21, President Aoun approved a new government under Prime Minister Diab. The 20-seat Cabinet, commissioned to put an end to an acute economic and financial crisis, consists of technocrats representing the country’s Christian and Muslim communities.

Lebanon crisis