Faced with a dire economic situation, finances threatened by the Cypriot syndrome, legislative brackets and an alarming security situation, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati preferred to withdraw by placing the various parties at the foot of the wall.
The dissociation policy defended by Mikati had become untenable, especially with the incidents multiplying at the border and the presence of nearly a million Syrians on Lebanese soil.
Lebanon is in a very delicate phase and faces many challenges, such as the new electoral law or the salary scale for civil servants. Added to this is the influx of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. This demographic change could destabilize an already fragile and politically divided country.
A political crisis like the one Lebanon has just entered is supposed to be mediated by holding early parliamentary elections. The parliamentary elections planned for June are finally postponed to a later date after the fall of the government. This resignation will logically create an institutional vacuum that is right to worry the international community. Lebanon is asked to develop in complete darkness in the coming days, if not weeks.
Paris fears the government and legislative vacuum in Lebanon. “France takes note of the resignation of Mr Mikati, who comes in the context of a worrying political blockade,” said Quai d’Orsay spokesman Philippe Lalliot. “In the difficult context that Lebanon is going through, it is important that the continuity of the institutions is ensured in order to avoid a state and legislative vacuum,” he added.
For its part, the EU is concerned about the development of the situation following the surprise resignation of the Mikati government. “The lack of consensus between political forces in government and parliament has led to an impasse, particularly in the elections, as security issues continue to test the country’s stability,” said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton , at .
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Lebanese to remain united behind their president following the resignation of the Prime Minister, and expressed concern that the country might be drawn into the war in Syria.
Where do we go now? Either the various parties will recognize the gravity of the hour and the need to come to an agreement and make mutual concessions, and will therefore decide to hold a Dialogue Conference meeting that will focus on two topics: the formation of a new government and an agreement on one new electoral law. Any resignation of the government would continue the day-to-day business until more insight into the developments in Syria is given. This scenario boils down to the fact that it is impossible to form a new government from whoever is appointed to that mission.
The formation of the Mikati government in 2011 signaled a development where the Iranian-Syrian axis was at the center of the Lebanese equation. However, his departure in March 2013 can only be a sign of a decline in that influence. Barack Obama’s recent visit to the region and its immediate aftermath in Israel, Turkey, Iraq and elsewhere, as well as developments related to the Iranian nuclear issue, would have changed, or at least inspired, news in Lebanon.