The National Bloc: Hariri's bowing out reflects the political and popular realities of Lebanon’s ruling class

The Lebanese National Bloc party released the following statement:

Lebanon’s former PM Saad Hariri’s suspension of his role in political life is a clear indication that the system is stumbling. Since the first days of the October 17 revolution, the political parties and regime components were attempting to restore popular legitimacy that has been largely broken while the majority of the Lebanese people collectively discredited and blamed the ruling class for triggering the historical global economic meltdown.

The October 17 revolution succeeded in breaking the presidential settlement by weakening its two main components, Saad Hariri and Gibran Bassil, President Michel Aoun's son-in-law. While the former announced his withdrawal from political life today, the latter is still trying to deny reality, sometimes by portraying himself as a victim of an external conspiracy and at others by improving his relations with "Hezbollah", which is the strongest party in the system and its guardian.

At a time when Hariri’s decision to suspend any role in power is a recognition of his popular and political reality, the authorities may seek ways to circumvent the popular willpower by postponing the elections or manipulating polls’ results.

The tangible facts that prove the regime’s intentions to break Lebanon’s upcoming elections are manifested in its refusal to amend the powers of “The Supervisory Commission on Elections” to ensure its independence and enhance its financial and administrative capabilities in line with the demands of the Lebanese people, while the only remaining possibility for the country to transition out of its current decayed situation is through the upcoming election.

It is absolutely true that Hariri’s announcement today provides a golden opportunity for opposition and change forces, yet it places on their shoulders a historical responsibility to unite ranks and propose a clear alternative based on the principles of sovereignty, the transition to a civil state in conformity with the Constitution, and sketch a just socio-economic program that begins with an equitable distribution of losses and a rescue plan to stop the collapse.

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