Thursday, July 26, 2007

Electoral analysis, Part I

Sunday the 5th of august a partial parliamentary election will be held in Beirut and in the Metn district of Mount Lebanon. In a series of upcoming article I will try to offer an in depth analysis of these election and my preliminary predictions.

In the first article I will offer a brief overview of the situation and possible consequence of the electoral battle of the Metn. In the second part I will draw out an in-depth analysis of electoral forces and their orientations in the same district, and then moving on to a similar exercise of the election in Beirut’s second district in the third article.

The electoral race in the Metn will be a titanic struggle between former President Amin Gemayel, the father of the assassinated MP pierre Gemayel, who previously held the seat, and General Aoun, represented by Dr. Kamil Khoury.

This partial election will be an important milestone in the current political crisis in Lebanon. In short, if Aoun’s candidate wins, the General will cement his position as the sole Christian leader in Lebanon and will favorably affect his chance to become the next President, totally annihilating Amin Gemyal and his party’s –the Phalanges-political base and weight.

Meanwhile, if Amin Gemayel wins, this will signal the start of the disintegration of Aoun’s political influence and clout, and the emergence of an alternative Christian leadership, formed by a coalition of the Lebanese Forces (headed by Samir Geagea) the Phalanges (headed by Amin Gemayel and several other Chritian leaderships).

Therefore, the stakes are high, very high. And the battle has an ominous feel about it, that is why several analysts point out that a compromise may be reached and Aoun will withdraw his candidate, leaving the seat for Amin Gemayel.

If this happens, it will be considered a victory for the former President or at least a setback for Aoun. Additionally, the FPM (Free Patriotic Movement- Aoun’s party) base will be severely disenchanted (check out the current mood and expectation of the FPM base on their forums)

Continued in Part II

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