Nearly One Week Before End of Presidential Term, Parliament Fails to Elect New Head of State According to Reuters, “Lebanon’s parliament failed to elect a president for the third time on Thursday, bringing the country closer to institutional deadlock amid a deep financial crisis.” [Reuters]
Captagon Smuggling Attempt Thwarted at Port of Beirut According to the National, “Lebanon’s security forces have seized a large quantity of Captagon at the Port of Beirut that was destined for Sudan, officials said on Thursday. More than 165 kilograms of the amphetamine-type stimulant — the equivalent of around one million tablets — were found inside a shipment containing a road roller ready for export to Sudan, Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi said on Twitter.” [The National]
Mayyas to Perform in Dubai Tomorrow According to the National, “America’s Got Talent winners Mayyas are set to perform in Dubai this week at Palm Jumeirah’s The Pointe. This will be the first time they will put on a show regionally outside of Beirut. They will take to the stage as part of Recognizing Emerging Local Musicians (Relm), an initiative by The Pointe in partnership with TikTok and Anghami, which aims to support emerging musicians in the region to take their careers to the next level.” [The National]
Hezbollah Announces Its Readiness to Assist in Forced Returns of Refugees According to Naharnet, “The Hezbollah official in charge of the Syrian refugee file, ex-MP Nawwar al-Saheli, visited General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim on Thursday and told him that Hezbollah is willing to help in the file, adding that his party’s capabilities can be put at General Security’s disposal in this regard.” [Naharnet] Hezbollah is designated as a terrorist group by the United States.
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Imagining A New Lebanon Jean AbiNader
AbiNader writes, “Now that the maritime deal is almost done, there seems to be an air of hope – if the three presidents can agree on a deal with Israel, there may be a future for a solid deal with the IMF, too. But if there is to be a “new” Lebanon, will reforms be enough to cultivate Lebanon’s rise from the ashes of the old, or will the seeds of democracy planted by our fore bearers fail to weed out the corruption and mismanagement? Put another way, should we wait until Lebanon self-destructs as a government before there’s a way forward? These are very tough questions, and ones which we struggle with every day at ATFL . . . There are screams for a national vision that restores social services, puts families first, and prioritizes economic stability and security. The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), the most trusted institution in the country, is hobbled by politicians who benefit from illicit smuggling, economic deterioration, and impaired and lacking social services. But still, hopeful people yearn for a renaissance in Lebanon.”
L’Orient Today Is the Forces of Change Parliamentary Bloc on the Verge of Implosion? Salah Hijazi
Hijazi writes, “Zgharta MP Michel Douaihy has broken away from the parliamentary bloc of the 13 MPs representing the protest movement — a development that highlights the growing differences among the Forces of Change elected representatives. Many pundits fear that these disagreements might cause the group of 13 to disperse, just a few days after the third anniversary of the Oct. 17, 2019, popular uprising. This prospect risks further undermining the Forces of Change MPs’ position ahead of a major constitutional deadline: the election of the country’s 14th president since Lebanon’s independence, as current President Michel Aoun’s term ends on Oct. 31.”
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.