Has Lebanon Actually Become Ungovernable?
Lebanon–The designate Lebanon PM Najib Mikati is trying to form a new government. But this might not be a good idea after all. As he tries, a lot many critics are of the opinion, there is deeper root cause to the ungovernable scenario of Lebanon. There is a notion of sectarian compromise is at the heart of this problem.
And then there is continuous obstructionism as each side trying to secure its interests in the government. But more than anything, the PM designate doesn’t want to face the demands of the political parties and satisfy all sides. There is no governance in that, just compromise and peace making.
There was a collapse in the economy in 2019. Since then, there has been no resurrection for the government so much so that it finds it difficult to solve common economic problems right. The understanding that for survival, the political system had to evolve. But the political elite did nothing to rectify this. Unfortunately, what happened was that the political and sectarian divisions were busy blocking any consensual evolution. This led to a recurring problem, namely that changes in the political order usually came only after bouts of violence.
So, there was no peaceful progress to say the least. In 2008, Hezbollah came into picture seeking a ‘blocking third’. It got this and the legitimacy to create a minority representation could influence the majority. The’ blocking third’ allowed Hezbollah to collapse the government, prevent cabinet sessions if their ministers did not attend, and control the cabinet agenda.
Doha took a consensual system and hardened it, so that a consensus became necessary on all major issues; giving Hezbollah powers. The consensus system reigns supreme and therefore obstructions rule the roost. There is low chance of upgrade and evolution thereafter.