Lebanon Daily News 11/19/2021

Friday, November 19, 2021


Aoun Says He Will Not Authorize March Election Date
Today President Michel Aoun announced that he would not sign off on the new parliamentary election date in March and would only agree to an election date on May 8 or May 15. He cited several reasons; March 27 gives the new government less time to secure an IMF recovery plan, there may be weather issues in March affecting voter turnout, and that it would deprive thousands of voters from reaching the voting age of 21 in time for the elections. [Reuters] The announced decision follows an appeal lodged by Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement early this week in which FPM argued against new electoral law amendments agreed upon by parliament in October. [Arab News]

Riad Salameh Releases Personal Audit to PM Miqati
Central bank governor Riad Salameh released audits of his personal accounts to Prime Minister Najib Miqati according to tweets from the cabinet. The forensic audit of Banque du Liban is still moving ahead, in a separate process conducted by Alvarez & Marsal. Salameh said the personal audit was in response to rumors regarding his accounts. Three European countries are investigating Salameh over allegations of money laundering. [Reuters]

Palestinians with Lebanese Passports Seek Asylum in Barcelona
A group of 39 Palestinians with Lebanese passports have requested asylum in Spain. On a trip from Cairo with stops in Barcelona, Bogota, and Quito as the final stop, the group stopped in Barcelona and refused to board their flight to the next destination. Spanish authorities are processing their asylum request and the Palestinian group has been taken care of with food and assistance in the meantime. [Naharnet]


Carnegie Middle East Center
Open Invitations
Michael Young

Young writes, “No one should expect clear or rapid outcomes from the foreign countries seeking stakes in Lebanon. Hezbollah and Iran will fight tooth and nail for every inch of terrain—witness the Iranian foreign minister’s recent efforts to torpedo a French plan to rebuild Beirut port, by offering that Iran do the same and more. Change will require patience by states to use their advantages, while accepting that zero-sum expectations will fail: Eliminating Iran’s sway from Lebanon will not happen, given the large Shia community there. With time, a regional consensus over the country may emerge to stabilize things, similar to the Syrian-Saudi understanding over the Taif agreement.”

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.