Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Elections in Lebanon – The Downsizing of the Quadripartite oligarchy -1

Posted by worriedlebanese on 06/05/2009

QuadripartiteNext month, the Lebanese will be electing a new parliament. I will be posting these coming days my thoughts on this question. Today, a look at the Quadripartite alliance.

The downsizing of the Quadripartite alliance Oligarchy

The biggest looser will undoubtedly be Walid Jumblatt. During the Syrian occupation, he not only commanded the largest Druze parliamentary block in Lebanese history, but he doubled his parliamentary weight by commanding as many Christian MPs as Druze MPs (and some would argue more). In the coming elections, he risks loosing 3 Druze MPs (in Baabda, Rashaya and Hasbaya) and is certain to loose a greater number of Christian MPs to his Christian allies (Kataeb, National Liberal Party or Lebanese Forces) or foes (Free Patriotic Movement).

What about the other three: Amal, Hezbollah and Future Movement.

The Future Movement has shown to be rather poor in organising a strong political base, but is sure to benefit from the Hezbollah effect. Many Sunnis will vote for him because they see in him the only Sunni force able (more or less) to stand up to Hezbollah. But his constituency is growing weaker with time and he might loose a couple of Sunni seats and has already handed out some Christian seats to Christian allies or foes (Tashnag).

Amal and Hezbollah still control a highly effective electoral monster that was given to them by the Syrians: the bulldozer. It will certainly crush their Shiite rivals in the large Shiite constituencies of the South (Sour, Nabatieh, Bint Jbeil) and the Beqaa (Baalbeck-Hermel). It is likely to have the same effect in the mixed constituencies through their political alliances. But they are likely to loose a couple of Christian MPs to their Christian ally, the Free Patriotic Movement (in Jezzin).

In other words, the Quadripartite alliance of 2005 is still going to be the greatest winner in the game; its political division (and electoral rivalry) working for the domination of each political group within its community in the same way their electoral alliance allowed it in 2005. The only difference will be the Doha effect; the birth of real partnerships with Christian parties on both sides of the political spectrum (even if the partnerships are deeply asymmetrical).


One Response to “Elections in Lebanon – The Downsizing of the Quadripartite oligarchy -1”

  1. That last paragraph said it all…

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