On October 31, 2016, after two and a half years and 45 failed attempts, a new president was elected. With the election of Michel Aoun, there is movement in the highly polarized Lebanese politics. The Maronite Christian was the Shiite Hezbollah’s candidate for the presidency from the very beginning. Saad Hariri was commissioned by Aoun to form a new government of national unity. Because the choice of Aoun was only possible because of Hariri’s surprising U-turn. The Hariri Bloc saw the election of the 81-year-old civil war general and founder of the Free Patriotic Movement as a clear victory for Hezbollah.
The election of the 81-year-old Aoun, civil war general and founder of the Free Patriotic Movement, is made possible by the surprising turnaround of Saad Hariri, head of the future movement and son of the multiple premier Rafiq al-Hariri, who was murdered in a major attack in February 2005. Two months after the presidential election, a new government was sworn in on December 19, 2016.
On November 4, 2018, the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri surprisingly announced his resignation during a stay in Saudi Arabia under unexplained circumstances. In doing so, he surprised both his supporters and his political opponents. The reason he gave was that his life was threatened. He also spearheaded Iran’s aggressive regional policy and Hezbollah. The resignation had raised concerns that a new proxy conflict could arise in Lebanon between the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its Shiite arch-rival Iran. Aoun declined to accept Hariri’s resignation before speaking to him personally. President Macrongot involved in the conflict and invited Hariri and his family to come to Paris. After a short stay in Paris, Hariri returned to Beirut and announced his resignation.
Prime Minister Hariri’s Cabinet of National Unity encompasses most of the country’s political groups, including Hezbollah. According to Hariri, the most important task of the new government is to maintain stability in Lebanon in view of the crises in neighboring countries and to organize new elections. In June 2017, the political establishment was able to agree on a right to vote. In Lebanon, majority voting will be replaced by proportional representation. As before, the conflicts of interest between the individual camps are too great, which again illustrates the crisis in the political system in Lebanon.
According to eningbo, proportional suffrage in Lebanon was actually supposed to strengthen smaller parties and groups of voters, but the electoral law negotiated by the governing parties outside parliament contains numerous restrictions on proportional representation: entry threshold at ten percent, the possibility of preferential voting for a candidate, and confessional division of parliament. Most of the parties are thus unable to achieve cross-religious success. The positivist, however, is the fact that the parties are in fact forced to form cross-denominational lists. If there is a stipulation in a constituency that two seats are allocated for Christians and three seats for Muslims, the parties must form a joint list in order to be allowed to run. The parties therefore not only have to convince their own clientele,
In the new electoral law, young people under 21 are excluded. There is also no quota for women MPs, although Lebanon is one of the countries with the lowest number of women MPs. The political participation of women in Lebanon is confronted with many obstacles that seem insurmountable: a patriarchal culture, a weak state, blocked reforms in politics and law, discriminatory personal and marital status law and a firmly established “political familism”.
The parliamentary elections for the National Assembly took place on May 6, 2018. Hezbollah and its allies secured 65 of the 128 seats. The previous Prime Minister, Hariri, was tasked with forming a new government despite massive election losses, because the elections did not change the basic power structure. The tug-of-war over the formation of a government in Lebanon lasted eight months. At the beginning of February 2019, the political parties finally reached an agreement. The new cabinet has 30 ministers, including four women. For the first time in the Arab world, the Ministry of the Interior is headed by a woman. The delay in the formation of a government had a negative impact on investment and thus on economic growth. It should be noted that public debt, at more than US $ 84.5 billion, has reached around 150% of GDP.Cedar conference allocated more than $ 4 billion under call. The unemployment rate is 36 percent.
Although Hezbollah accuses the Hariri Alliance of covering up the radical Sunnis and in return the Hariri Alliance accuses Hezbollah of dragging Lebanon into the war in Syria, both adversaries led a conflict-ridden government with other political forces until October 29, 2019 of national unity. However, this was often unable to work, and the warring factions were only able to agree on a strategy for garbage disposal with great difficulty and after many scandals.
After Hariri’s resignation, the university professor Hassan Diab was appointed Prime Minister by the Lebanese President on December 19, 2019 and charged with forming a new cabinet. Due to unrest, his government resigned on August 10, 2020, but has remained in office.