Lebanese-Armenian Researcher: President Aoun Has Established an Alliance with Dashnaktsutyun (EXCLUSIVE)
"Armedia" IAA presents an exclusive interview with Lebanese-Armenian independent blogger/researcher and founder of New Eastern Politics Forum, Yeghia Tashjian on the occasion of the election of a new President in Lebanon after 2 years of vacuum.
- After two years of vacuum, Lebanon at last has a new President. What does this mean for the country? What are the expectations of the society?
- Yes, after more than two years of presidential vacuum, finally the Lebanese parliament elected a President with minimum foreign interference. Already during the last few days we witnessed a shift in the alliances between different political parties. The country was no more divided between two traditional factions; March 14 alliance, pro Saudi and Western oriented and the March 8 alliance close to Iran and Syria. The support of the current President General Michel Aoun surprisingly came from the major political parties of the two alliances. This is the first time after the end of the civil war that a strong President is elected. The election of a President was a push and a hope for the public institutions and the economy, which are in quite bad situation. The Lebanese society has many expectations. Some already lost hope in the current system and in the corrupt politicians, who have filled the country with trash. The cabinet was not able to solve this garbage crisis despite the warning of many activists and environmentalists. Moreover, some argued that the Parliament was illegal, the current President claimed that too years ago, since the Parliament extended its mandate under the pretext of security issues, despite many opposition within and outside the Parliament. The main expectations of the Lebanese are the security issues, economic prosperity and the solution of the trash crisis.
- Will the elections of Michel Aoun make crucial changes in the internal and foreign politics of the country?
President Aoun will face challenges both at domestic and foreign levels. Domestically, the President will face a challenge in the coming parliamentary elections and how his party will keep his alliance with different political parties which are in opposite camps. Moreover, already there are rumors that a "Unity" cabinet may be formed under the Premiership of ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri, if all opposing parties are presented in this cabinet and each will block the decision of the other party and the government will stagnate and not function. Thus it’s time to have a strong opposition that will perform its simple democratic duty in checking and monitoring the work of the government.
We will also witness interesting developments, when the Lebanese Forces Party oppose the military intervention of Hezbollah in Syria and call for the latter’s disarmament. Therefore, I don’t see on the long run the President’s "shaky" alliances can survive. Although the President in his oath mentioned the phrase of "independent foreign policy", I don’t see it realistic given Hezbollah’s military intervention in Syria and a major Sunni Future Movement’s alliance with Suadi Arabia.
- What about the Armenian community in Lebanon? Do they expect any change of politics (both positive and negative) towards them?
- President Michel Aoun established an alliance with the major Armenian political party in Lebanon, the ARF (Dashnaktsutyun) starting from 2005. They cooperate quite well. The ARF consolidated the representation of the Armenian community in the public sectors, while the Free Patriotic Movement (The movement founded by Michel Aoun) received a huge Armenian votes in Metn and Eastern Beirut (Key Christian districts) in the parliamentary and municipal elections.
- What are your personal expectations?
- For me a good solution would be the formation of a cabinet consisting of technocrats under political coverage. It is the time that the Lebanese political parties put their national interest above their selfish sectarian and regional interests.
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