Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jumblatt out of March 14? part II

At the beginning of the month I stated that it was likely that Walid Junblatt would drop out of the March 14 coalition after the elections.

Now a video taken on an iphone at a private meeting of Druze hierarchy and released to New TV. Friday Lunch Club has provided a full translation of what he said. What is really causing consternation, apart from Junblatt appearing to have trouble remembering Geagea's (the leader of the Lebanese Forces) name, is his statement that the Sunni and March 14 Christians wanted to sit back while the Druze and Shia fought (in the events of the 7th May) and that he called the Maronite's a "bad breed".

With regard to the elections the pro March 14 commentator Michael Young articulates the consequences succinctly: "The political consequences of his statements will be grave, particularly in Baabda. In Zahleh, too, observers expect Elie Skaff to gain from Maronite retaliation against March 14. In the West Bekaa, the Sunnis have been angry with Jumblatt for some weeks now due to his alliance with Nabih Berri, and his latest comments may have repercussions on how they vote for Wael Abou Faour, even if he probably will be elected. In the Metn, the Kisirwan, and Jbeil, March 14 has just been made weaker, as Michel Aoun will be able to argue that those Maronites who allied with Jumblatt were all along despised by him." Young also believes that the video was released deliberatley by Jumblatt.

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