Jumblatt’s back to business
Posted by worriedlebanese on 08/06/2009
While journalists and March 14th politicians are musing on their “victory” (and indulging), Walid Jumblatt knows better. It is quite obvious that the quadripartite oligarchy won those elections: Mustaqbal won the overwhelming majority of the Sunni seats in parliament, Amal-Hezbollah the overwhelming majority of the Shiite seats, Ishtiraqi the overwhelming majority of the Druze seats. Knowing that Sunnis and Shiites have the same number of seats in parliament, it’s Walid Jumblatt’s Druze seats that makes a difference and determines who is the “majority”.
It’s not surprising that he is the one who informed the press yesterday on the rules of the game: The next government will be one of “National Unity” (i.e. bringing together the quadripartite oligarchy), but there will be no “1/3 blocking minority”. This declaration is quite surprising coming from the Lebanese political figure that lost the most MPs in these elections. His “Democratic Gathering” bloc (1/2 Druze Ishtiraqi MPs, 1/2 Christian client MPs) shed 4 additional MPs: He is gradually learning to “share” MPs in the districts he had conquered during the Civil War: Michel Aoun’s FPM took over the Christian seats in Baabda, the Christian neo-helf (Kataeb, Lebanese Forces, Ahrar) took one seat each in the Chouf and Aley (one from the Future Movement, and two from the Democratic Gathering), and Talal Arslan was granted two Druze seats.
Withstanding this gross loss of parliamentary weight, Jumblatt remains a pivotal player in the quadripartite oligarchy thanks to the even split of Christian MPs between pro-Aoun and anti-Aoun that neutralises Christian MPs as negotiation chips between the two rival/collaborating sides of the ruling oligarchy.