Regional Tensions Lead to a Power Vacuum in Lebanon

17-04-2013

Tamman Salam is in charge of forming a new cabinet in Lebanon after the resignation of Prime Minister Mikati on 22 March 2013. Prime Minister Mikati resigned over his government's failure to adopt a new electoral law and its refusal to extend the mandate of police chief Ashraf Rifi. With no agreement on a new electoral law, forming a new government coalition is impossible. The scheduled June date for elections also appears unlikely. Lebanon has maintained an official policy of disassociation from the Syrian civil war, but the country is seriously affected by the deteriorating crisis. More than 400 000 Syrian refugees reside in Lebanon, and the northern city of Tripoli has suffered from sectarian clashes that have spilt over from Syria. Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam is struggling to form a cabinet, while rival political factions fail to agree on a new electoral law. The current parliament's mandate could be extended beyond June 2013. The European Union should reiterate its support for Lebanon's independence, territorial integrity and national institutions.

Tamman Salam is in charge of forming a new cabinet in Lebanon after the resignation of Prime Minister Mikati on 22 March 2013. Prime Minister Mikati resigned over his government's failure to adopt a new electoral law and its refusal to extend the mandate of police chief Ashraf Rifi. With no agreement on a new electoral law, forming a new government coalition is impossible. The scheduled June date for elections also appears unlikely. Lebanon has maintained an official policy of disassociation from the Syrian civil war, but the country is seriously affected by the deteriorating crisis. More than 400 000 Syrian refugees reside in Lebanon, and the northern city of Tripoli has suffered from sectarian clashes that have spilt over from Syria. Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam is struggling to form a cabinet, while rival political factions fail to agree on a new electoral law. The current parliament's mandate could be extended beyond June 2013. The European Union should reiterate its support for Lebanon's independence, territorial integrity and national institutions.