State of Emergency in Lebanon
Outgoing Lebanese President Emile Lahoud declared a state of emergency today and asked the army to secure the country. According toYa Libnon, a Lebanese daily,
His action followed the failure of rival leaders to agree on his successor, creating a vacuum in the presidency from midnight.
Many observers are of the opinion that Lahoud, who is a Syrian puppet, acted on orders from Syria to destabilize the country further. Syrian President Bashar al Assad considers Lahoud his personal representative in Lebanon. According to the constitution the president does not have the authority to declare a state of emergency without obtaining the approval of the government, which is entitled to take over as soon as the presidential office becomes vacant , but Lahoud considers the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora as illegitimate, because its pro-Syrian Shiite ministers resigned about a year ago.
In the Jerusalem Post, Caroline Glick discusses the behind-the-scenes powers at play:
According to the Lebanese Constitution, Saturday is the last day on which a new Lebanese president can be elected. Lebanon’s president must be elected by two thirds of the members of Lebanon’s parliament. Through their campaign of assassination, Syria and Hezbollah have taken away the two-thirds majority that anti-Syrian forces won in the 2005 elections. As a result, Hezbollah has veto power over the election. And so far, Iran and Syria have refused to allow Hezbollah to back any candidate. This is the case despite the anti-Syrian majority’s willingness to support a pro-Syrian presidential candidate.
Due to the Iranian-Syrian induced impasse, today there are two possible scenarios for what may happen in the next few days in Lebanon. Either Iran and Syria will allow elections to take place and an agent of their regimes and Hezbollah will take over the presidency, or elections will not take place and two governments—one anti-Syrian under Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and one pro-Syrian—will be formed. The pro-Syrian government will be supported by Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army. The anti-Syrian government will be supported by Christian, Sunni and Druse militias. A civil war will ensue. Syria, Hezbollah and Iran will win.