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How not to run for president of Lebanon

By Abu Kais

Tony Badran has written a good piece in the LA Times on Michel Aoun’s "puzzling run for president of Lebanon". Here’s an excerpt:

There’s a cardinal rule in Lebanese politics that the president must be acceptable both to his own community and to the others. Aoun is neither. His positions have been antithetical to the Maronite patriarchate, the seat of moderation in the community and a strong opponent of using street rallies to unseat the government. Aoun’s alliance with Hezbollah and Syria’s puppets has infuriated the anti-Syrian Christian community, which aimed much of its anger at him after the assassination of Maronite Cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel last month. Now, by agreeing to be the vanguard of a Shiite-led coup attempt against a Sunni prime minister, he has broken an unwritten rule against getting his community involved in a Sunni-Shiite conflict, potentially putting the already polarized Maronite community at risk.

I would add that Aoun is only trying to be acceptable to the Syrian regime, and is acting as if they are still calling the shots in the country. Tony concludes:

As such, Aoun is but the latest in a line of challengers of Lebanon’s unwritten codes. He will fail like all the others; the question is how much damage he causes in the meantime.

Read the entire piece here.

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