Almost 9 months after the resignation of the Hassan Diab government, the prime minister-designate since October Saad Hariri seems to be isolated both locally and internationally, including among his traditional allies, while the local situation seems more critical than ever with the the next end of the subsidy program which will lead to a significant rise in prices and a further deterioration in the parity of the Lebanese pound against foreign currencies.
However, it would seem that forming a government – prior to obtaining international aid conditional on diagnosis such as the forensic audit of the Bank of Lebanon accounts or economic and fiscal reforms – does not seem to be a priority.
It would have taken the formal slap inflicted by France and Saudi Arabia to reveal the scale of a prime minister-designate isolated even among his friends and in his own camp.
As a reminder, it was a Saudi newspaper, close to Saudi power, which revealed that an interview last week between Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Saad Hariri was not on the order of day. The latter was waiting for the French diplomat to request an appointment with him at the Maison du Center. In the end, the opposite happened. So as not to lose face and not to show his isolation among his family, Saad Hariri, on the contrary, had to ask for an appointment and come to the Residence des Pins. , as a simple Lebanese citizen and not as Prime Minister designate, an affront to what he considers to be his rank, a formal slap that was inflicted on him.
Deprecated by France, Saad Hariri was also released by the international community since Paris is in charge of the Lebanese file. It is no longer even unanimous among the countries of the Gulf and first of all in Saudi Arabia, a country of which he still holds the nationality and where leaders like Mohammed Ben Salman at the origin of his kidnapping, have, on several occasions , expressed their disagreements with him, both at the level of his business – bankrupt that he refuses to assume – and at the political level.
Saad Hariri is no longer unanimous in his own camps, with his traditional allies who have already let go. The relationship with the Lebanese Forces had already deteriorated during the episode of this same kidnapping in Riyadh in 2018. Today, the Lebanese Forces demand early legislative elections.
Even Walid Joumblatt, the one who had sworn loyalty to the son of his friend Rafic, seems to have distanced himself from his trip, a month ago to the Presidential Palace in Baabda and being at the origin of the proposal for a government of 24 members instead of 18 members as wanted by Saad Hariri. If there is no conflict with him, the disagreements are nevertheless visible today.
But perhaps even worse for Prime Minister Saad Hariri, in his own party, the vice-president of the Current of the Future, Mustapha Alloush or even a man close to him Hadi Hobeiche, no longer excluded his withdrawal from the Grand Serail, taking obviously an act of its isolation on the local and international political scene. The Kingdom has, moreover, on several occasions, like France and other countries, indicated that international aid to Lebanon will be conditional on economic reforms. The international community seems to wish to no longer cooperate with a local political class which has no politics but the word and which acts only according to private interests and which has, in the past, diverted a large part of the funds intended for Lebanon. Some thus attach to Lebanese personalities commission percentages so as not to speak of corruption required by them for each project. Saad Hariri is not immune, like other former prime ministers, to this.
Last paradoxical thing, side traditional political parties, only Hezbollah and the Amal Movement seem today to hold on to his candidacy as the next prime minister. These 2 movements, politically opposed to him since 2005, thus seem to hold on to a weakened Saad Hariri who will undoubtedly have to come to terms with them and obey all their wishes, such as agreeing to assign the finance ministry to a relative. of Nabih Berri for his candidacy to be accepted by the Shiite duo last October demonstrated this.