Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Jumblatt’s back to business

Posted by worriedlebanese on 08/06/2009

Joumblatt.jpgWhile 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.

One Response to “Jumblatt’s back to business”

  1. Some details on the Democratic Gathering in 2005
    7 Druze MPs
    Walid Joumblatt (Chouf), Marwan Hamadé (Chouf), Ghazi Aridi (Beirut), Ayman Choucair (Baabda), Fayçal Sayegh (Aley), Akram Chehayeb (Aley), Waël Abou Faour (Rachaya-West Beqaa).

    7 Christian MPs
    Abdallah Farhat (Baabda, Maronite), Fouad Saad (Aley, Maronite), Henry Hélou (Aley, Maronite), Nabil Boustani (Chouf, Maronite), Elie Aoun (Chouf, Maronite), Nehmé Tohmé (Chouf, Greek-Catholic), Antoine Saad (Greek-Orthodox, West-Beqaa).

    2 Sunni MP
    Alaeddine Terro (Chouf), Mohamad Hajjar (Chouf)

    And finally, there is another seat that Joumblat controlled, but the MP was a client of Hariri’s Future Movement, that of Antoine Andraos (Aley, Greek-Orthodox). In 2009, it was ceded to Amin Gemayel’s revamped Kataeb party.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Some details on the Democratic Gathering in 2009

    5 Druze MPs
    Walid Joumblatt (Chouf), Marwan Hamadé (Chouf), Ghazi Aridi (Beirut), Akram Chehayeb (Aley), Waël Abou Faour (Rachaya-West Beqaa)

    5 Christian MPs
    Fouad Saad (Aley, Maronite), Henry Hélou (Aley, Maronite), Elie Aoun (Chouf, Maronite), Nehmé Tohmé (Chouf, Greek-Catholic), Antoine Saad (Greek-Orthodox, West-Beqaa).

    1 Sunni MP
    Alaeddine Terro (Chouf)

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