Posted by: Lister | June 21, 2009

Reconciliation in Lebanon

Nasrallah has met with Walid Jumblatt. The Daily Star:

Both the PSP and Hizbullah released statements that described Thursday night’s meeting as a review of events of recent years, when relations between the two sides were either frosty or completely ruptured.

Jumblatt and Nasrallah emphasized the need to work for a comprehensive reconciliation that would lead to cooperation among all Lebanese parties.

Ya Libnan:

In remarks to al-Akhbar, Jumblat said: “I can only say that the meeting was good. We spoke frankly and conducted a good review of issues. Matters are delicate and I absolutely do not want to comment (any further).”

Under an agreement, the Nasrallah-Jumblat meeting “does not represent a change in the political direction of either side. Each team has its political status and alliances that will be preserved,” the sources said.

“This however does not mean the rift will be renewed,” they added.

Somewhat important, given the results of the recent election — where the March 14th alliance won 71 out of 128 seats, but did so without winning the popular vote. Another Daily Star article:

Despite the cheers from the international community, election monitors paint a far more complex picture of Lebanon’s post-election phase. In the country’s sectarian political landscape, there is rarely a clear winner with a mandate to rule, only a coalition government that operates by consensus.

While March 14th won more seats in the Parliament, Graeme Bannerman, who monitored this year’s election for the National Democratic Institute, said the March 8 coalition won the popular vote handily. “You have a majority of people in Lebanon not having voted for this government,” he said.

Wiki quotes other sources saying the popular vote was 55-45 in favour of the March 8th coalition. But one of those sources is Counterpunch.

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