dinsdag 9 juni 2009

Geen verkiezingszege voor bewapend Hezbollah in Libanon

Gelukkig hebben de pro-Westerse partijen de Libanese verkiezingen gewonnen, maar Hezbollah houdt haar zetelaantal. Het is vreemd dat zij enerzijds zegt de uitslag en de democratie te respecteren, en anderzijds zegt dat haar wapens niet ter discussie staan. In een functionerende democratie en rechtsstaat hebben leger en politie het alleenrecht op wapens en het gebruik van geweld, en zij staan onder bevel van de democratisch gekozen regering, die weer is gebonden aan de grondwet. In Libanon is men nog lang niet zo ver, maar deze uitslag is een positief teken. De kans is echter reëel dat Hezbollah, net als vorig jaar, met geweld een beslissende stem in de regering zal afdwingen.
Haar wapens zijn niet alleen bedoeld om tegen Israel te vechten, rotzooi in Egypte te trappen en Hamas te helpen, maar ook om haar invloed en macht in Libanon te vergroten.


The Jerusalem Post
Jun 8, 2009 2:49 | Updated Jun 8, 2009 18:51
Hizbullah: Our weapons are off limits

Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah on Monday accepted the results the Lebanese parliamentary elections in which the guerrilla group and it allies were defeated by the Western-backed coalition.

"We accept these results...with sportsmanship and in a democratic way and we accept that the ruling camp has achieved the parliamentary majority," Nasrallah said in a televised address, adding that opposition leaders would meet soon to agree on a joint stance over the naming of a new prime minister and the formation of a new government.

Earlier Monday, the group warned that its weapons arsenal was not up for debate.

"The majority must commit not to question our role as a resistance party, the legitimacy of our weapons arsenal and the fact that Israel is an enemy state," senior Hizbullah member Mohamed Ra'ad told AFP.

The election result, dealt a stunning setback to the Iranian-backed group, and setting the stage for renewed political deadlock in the volatile nation.

The winners celebrated in the streets, setting off fireworks and driving around in motorcades honking hours before the official results were even announced.

Sunday's parliamentary vote was an early test of US President Barack Obama's efforts to forge Middle East peace. A win by Hizbullah would have boosted the influence of its backers Iran and Syria and risked pushing one of the region's most unsettled countries into international isolation and possibly more conflict with Israel.

Obama on Monday congratulated the Lebanese people for a peaceful national election held with "courage" and a "commitment to democracy." "Once more, the people of Lebanon have demonstrated to the world their courage and the strength of their commitment to democracy," the Obama statement said, without a direct reference to Hizbullah's defeat.

Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said on television that he "presents this victory to Lebanon," after stations projected his coalition was winning. "It is an exceptional day for democracy in Lebanon."

The interior minister announced the final results from all 26 districts at a news conference. The tally showed the winning coalition with 68 seats versus 57 for the Hizbullah-led alliance. Three seats went to independents. The seat allocation is almost unchanged from the outgoing legislature, ensuring that the same disputes will continue to roil the political scene.

Hizbullah retained its 11 seats. That would almost replicate the deadlock that existed in the outgoing parliament, in which the pro-Western bloc had 70 seats and an alliance of Hizbullah and other Shi'ite and Christian factions had 58.

OTV, the television station of one of Hizbullah's key Christian allies, former army chief Michel Aoun, conceded that the party's candidates who challenged pro-Western competitors in several Christian districts had been defeated, preventing a victory for the Hizbullah-led coalition.

The battle in Christian districts was the decisive factor. Lebanese generally vote along sectarian and family loyalties, with seats for Sunnis and Shi'ites in the half-Christian, half-Muslim, 128-member parliament already locked up even before the voting started.

Christians in the pro-Western coalition warned that the heavily armed Hizbullah would bring the influence of Shiite Iran to Lebanon. The Maronite Catholic Church made a last-minute appeal, warning that Lebanon as a state and its Arab identity were threatened, a clear reference to Hizbullah and its Persian backer, Iran.

Sunnis were also driven to vote for the pro-Western coalition to get back at Shiite Hizbullah gunmen for seizing the streets a year ago in Beirut from pro-government supporters.
Turnout nationwide was about 52.3 percent, said the government, an increase over the 2005 figure of 45.8 percent.

Boosted by its 2006 war with Israel, Hizbullah and its allies provoked a political crisis in 2007-2008 with demands for a voice in the government. They staged protests and installed an encampment in downtown Beirut that paralyzed the commercial heart of the Lebanese capital. The showdown culminated in street battles that brought the country to the edge of another civil war.

An agreement to end the violent confrontation gave Hizbullah veto power over major government decisions.

This time around, the pro-Western coalition vowed not to give Hizbullah and its allies a blocking minority in the new government if they won, maintaining that the arrangement paralyzed decision-making. Hizbullah and its allies have countered that sharing power ensured peace. A failure by the parties to agree on how to share power could set the stage for another round of confrontation that could again inflame sectarian tensions.

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