As the elections proceed along, many have risk much, to be rewarded… Very little. Once again, Lebanese politicians are demonstrating they have more shrewdness than intelligence; more street-smarts than smarts…
As they clobber one another in Metn and
Amine Gemayel’s foray in Parliamentarian politics is fraught with dangers; to an ex-president, the price of defeat may be too high, unless he’s going after bigger game. And may well be; Sheikh Amine is now one of the top contenders to the Presidency.
Lebanese memory being what it is, people have forgotten the last time he in office, and how unpopular he had become. On the plus side, Sheikh Amine has always been among the shrewdest politicos around, and he may have learned from his past mistakes.
Only two things stand in his way... rather, two Michel’s.
Michel El-“Bteghrinator” Murr
Michel El-Murr, is one of those Michel’s… As a Christian Orthodox, he is no direct competitor to Sheikh Amine. But the Metn may prove to be too small for two dynasties, and the Murr’s and the Gemayel’s may have to settle issues, some related to family issues, some related to the local pecking order.
Incidentally, the Armenians also have a place to claim in that pecking order, and a few scores to settle with the side that usurped their MP seats.
But the fact remains that, whatever the outcome of this battle, the Bteghrinator cannot afford to play. Aoun maybe his ally today, but two salient facts remain:
1- He will have to contend with the Gemayel’s when the dust settles. And win or lose, Sheikh Amine will prove to be a tricky neighbour. On the long run, the Armenians can leverage their “division”, but the Bteghrinator will have a harder time managing both sides. Unless he manages to sell the claim that “they” have twisted his arm in supporting Aoun.
2- Being an Orthodox Christian, Murr is not eligible to be king, and can only hope to be king-maker, or king-breaker. He may well break the
That is because an electoral victory in Metn will not make the
1- With his claim of representing the majority of Christians, and therefore Maronites, Aoun can ill afford anything less than a majority of the Maronite votes in Metn. This is something he is unlikely to get. He is already be perceived as winning a Maronite seat with the help of Orthodox Christians and Armenians.
2- Aoun could do without the "support" of Hezb (who calls it a “referendum”), the Baath, the PSNS, and a motley crew of bused-in “nationalized” Syrians. But things being as they are, he needs all the support he can get to win the seat.
... Even the bravest pick their battles.