The roots of the recent unrest in Lebanon, Hassan Diab or political corruption?
After months of declining the protests process in Lebanon, different parts of this country witnessing again sporadic clashes in protest to the economic situation. For having a better view on the current situation in Lebanon, should have a short review on Oct 17 of 2019, that took place a vast wave of street protests all […]
After months of declining the protests process in Lebanon, different parts of this country witnessing again sporadic clashes in protest to the economic situation.
For having a better view on the current situation in Lebanon, should have a short review on Oct 17 of 2019, that took place a vast wave of street protests all around the Lebanon. The main reason of these protests was the communication minister order based on imposing the tax on WhatsApp internet calls, that quickly was turned to a public wave for protesting to very bad economic situation of this small, but adventurous country.
Although the minister order was immediately canceled, but the protesters demanded the early elections and resignation of Saad Hariri government; the issue that took place in less than two weeks on October 29, and after years, Saad Hariri resigned from power in Lebanon.
After the Saad Hariri resignation and after 3 months of compressed political consultations, finally the was introduced an unknown person named Hassan Diab as the main candidate for this country’s prime ministry; Hassan Diab was from Lebanon political figures, but no one expected to he enters the power square, because of his independence and also the traditional process of electing the prime minister in Lebanon that was always under control of the different political fractions.
From the first, the political groups known as March 14 declared that they wont support Hassan Diab, but the Resistance supporter group known as March 8 thanks to the recent parliamentary elections and winning the majority of this country’s parliament, could to vote on Hassan Diab and to make the new Lebanese government, without the March 14 group presence.
The Hassan Diab’s most important task was to forming a government with new figures and removing the traditional political figures among all of groups, including March 8; therefore, the ministers such as Gebran Bassil the most important member of the March 8 in foreign ministry and Ali Hassan Khalil, the deputy of Nabih Berri, the Amal movement chief, that was in finance department for years, were removed from the cabinet. Hezballah, that had before this in Saad Hariri government three ministers, introduced two ministers for health and industry ministries in the new government. The March 14 group didn’t nominated anyone for presence in Diab cabinet, as protest; and according to Lebanese constitution, this quota was chosen by president and prime minister; therefore, the new Lebanese government started its work on Feb 2020 with the complete new figures.
The most important challenge for the Hassan Diab government was the very heavy heritage of the former governments, that turned the Lebanon from a commercial country into a debtor country and politically corrupted. There was a difficult path front of Diab, for removing these obstacles.
First of all, the March 14 leaders that prime ministry post was under their control in the past 30 years, will not allow to happen a successful experience in the Lebanese political square; because Diab success is meaning to end of their political presence.
The second problem is summarized in the central bank and its chief, Riyadh Salameh. Riyadh Salameh has been the Lebanese central bank chief since 1992 and has the full support of western countries especially the US; in recent years, followed the wrong economic policies with the goal of imposing pressure on Hezballah and making the civil chaos in Lebanon, that its result was the sharp increasing of dollar price in Lebanon.
In the latest decisions of Hassan Diab government for improving the internal economic situation, he outlined his economic reform plan. The most important points of this plan are receiving financial aids from the International Monetary Fund for improving the business situation and also reviewing in the banking structure of country for preventing from the libertine growth of the dollar price in the market and the destruction of people capitals.
Although receiving the aids from the IMF has its special situation and makes the Lebanon debtor, but in current situation and with the vast corruption of different political groups that plundered the Lebanese people wealth, there is no solution but foreign borrowing for solving the economic problems of Lebanon; it can be said that with receiving financial aid from IMF that is estimated 10 billion dollars, Lebanon can solve completely much of its economic problems.
The next point is the Riyadh Salameh presence in the Lebanese central bank presidency. The different political sources in Lebanon believe that the Riyadh Salameh removal will make angry the western officials, especially France and the US, because he is supported by them under and is coordinated completely with their policies in implementing the economic policies. On the other hand, the Lebanese political groups that all of them during these years had received billions of dollars with the help of Riyadh Salameh and have a lux life without repayment of this money, know the Riyadh Salameh removal as a danger alert for disclosure of their corruptions; therefore will oppose strongly with Salameh removal.
In conclusion, it should be said that the events in the recent days in Lebanon, are weaker than October 17 events and are limited to some specific regions, and all of them have came to streets due to stimulating the political parties leaders opposed to Hassan Diab. Lebanese army has strongly stood against any security disorder and will stand. Regarding the economic reforms in Lebanon, due to the mentioned problems, we should wait and see that Hassan Diab and Michael Aoun how much serious are in implementing their decisions and how extent they will tolerate the pressure of internal opposition groups and foreign countries.