BY: EMILY WHALEN
Lebanon, for once, looks relatively secure. To the south, a brewing corruption scandalthreatens to upend Israel’s political establishment; to the north, the abattoir of Syria’s hijacked revolution grinds on. Despite a tense few weeks last November—when Prime Minister Saad Hariri temporarily resigned under duress—and an influx of refugees from neighboring Syria, Lebanon has largely avoided the destabilizing currents wracking the rest of the region. Lebanon’s relative security might tempt observers to assume the peaceful status quo will prevail at the ballot box on May 8.
But the relationship between national security and domestic politics in Lebanon is not so straightforward. The elections, less predictable than usual thanks to the debut of new voting laws, will change the relationship between the Lebanese and their political representatives. A new electoral dynamic could very well change the political calculus between Saudi Arabia and Iran which has so far sheltered Lebanon from regional storms. In the long run, though, the change could make Lebanon far more secure.
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