How fast the pace of change in
The role of the religious leader of the Maronites in
During the interview the patriarch said that the only reason for changing the constitution could be to save the country. Well, yeah, “saving the country” sounds pretty vague and leaves ample room for interpretation: the various parties in
Maybe the patriarch was trying to unite the Christian forces in the March 14 alliance to unite around a strong candidate. By dangling the frightening prospect of a junta in front of their eyes, the patriarch might have hoped to create a sense of urgency.
If those were his ulterior motives, then chapeau bas: within a few days after the patriarch’s speech, this is exactly what happened. Yesterday, the March 14 Christians announced that they will come up soon with one candidate for the presidency. Interesting enough, they added two things: that the candidate must be ‘made in
What is almost funny, if it weren’t so serious, were the comments by Samir Geagea during the press conference the meeting of the March 14’ Christians was over. He mentioned that they have tried to reason with Michel Aoun, but that he refused to withdraw his own candidacy. With a strong hint of regret, Geagea concluded that he had to resort to democracy. What a pity this must be for a former warlord, indeed.
Michel Aoun in the mean time is in a difficult position. In response to the patriarch’s comments, his party supported the idea of having Suleiman run a military government. Even more kudos for the patriarch for eliciting Aoun to admit that he would be willing to consider giving up his presidential ambitions.
Now, he won’t give them up for a March 14 candidate, but still, the mere admission was already quite something and seemed to have weakened his position that his ambitions were non-negotiable. Aoun is unlikely to feel good right now about reacting so hastily to the patriarch’s statements.
It will be interesting to watch future developments: Will he be able to keep on supporting a Syrian-backed Suleiman, especially if Suleiman would be fully supported by Hezbollah? Or would he break with his allies and make a run for the presidential post himself? My money would be on the latter option, but then again, nothing in