(My Middle East)

77 days with a journalist, Lebanon, and a list of non sequiturs

Posts Tagged ‘deen sharp

Hes got the whole world in his hands

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Lebanese President Michel Sleiman

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman

Interesting blog post today from freelance journalist Deen Sharp, Sharp talks about the role of independents in the upcoming election who seem to be not that independent after all. Sharp alludes to a bloc of independents who are in President Michel Sleiman’s pocket.

These independents like Nazem al-Khoury in Jbeil and Michel al-Murr in Metn who may be a tipping factor in giving the March 14 bloc the edge.

We will see how this develops if the independent Sleiman becomes more politicized and if he starts wielding more power in parliament. If thats the case, the president will hold the precarious key to stability .If he is looked at as partisan to March 14, it could increase the divide between the government and the opposition and could also push Hezbollah farther away from politics and more reliant on their militia. If on the other hand Sleiman can manage holding these parliamentarians in a critical independent bloc AND make it appear that he has no particular parties interest in mind, then Sleiman could create that split parliament result that seems to be in everyone’s interest.

The second scenario may be getting more difficult as yesterday two independents mysteriously pulled out of the Jbeil race. The move ended the deadlock between several March 14 potential lists and cleared the way for a single list which includes independent Maronite and former adviser to President Sleiman, Nazem al-Khoury.

Written by stephenddockery

June 6, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Need help understanding the Lebanese elections?

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March 8 and March 14,  Hezbollah and Amal, Lebanese Forces and Kataeb. Lebanese politics is layered in history and can be very unapproachable. For anyone starting to figure it out Deen Sharp, a Beirut free lance journalist ,has some great resources, including background on Lebanon’s main political parties, an explanation of the parliament and a Lebanese media guide.. (Speaking of which my story on the independent youth media  outlet got pushed to tomorrow)

As a British business professor at AUB was explaining to me, politics here is  absurdly labyrinthine for a country with the population the size of Houston, TX. But what Houston is not, is a battleground country for the biggest players in the Middle East and  the world.

Written by stephenddockery

June 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm