Onus on leaders to calm Lebanon
Will the 'Day of Anger' in Lebanon fizzle out to allow new leaders the chance to inject the country with calm?
As Hezbollah and its allies prepare to form a new government in Lebanon, it is expected to face major obstacles. Just yesterday, protesters accusing the group of "staging a coup" against caretaker Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri took to the streets in what they called a "day of anger" and accused them of putting their country under Iranian control.
The major point of contention is the choice of Najeeb Mikati as Lebanon's next prime minister, which pushes Hariri to the curb. The fact that he received a parliamentary majority hasn't fazed the demonstrators who worry that Lebanon's new government would function through foreign interference.
These are sensitive times for Lebanon and all sects have to work together and accept the agreed-upon process. The onus is on all political leaders in Lebanon to send a message of calm to the Lebanese people in order to allow a peaceful transition to the new government. The alternative is further sectarianism and an escalation of a crisis that could sharply destabilise a fragile region.
Countries interested in Lebanon's future have to allow for this internal process to take place without their interference or pressure. We've already seen the US warn it would withdraw aid money from Lebanon if the opposition takes over. This is outright meddling and it must stop.
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