Three developments in the past couple of days have signaled that we may indeed be nearing the end of Lebanon’s five-month stretch without a government.
1) As reported earlier, Suleiman Frangieh — the leader of the Marada party, and a member of the Change & Reform Bloc — expressed his annoyance with the fact that Aoun has kept changing his demands vis-à-vis which portfolios would be granted to C&R.
Originally, this story was only reported in the pro-March 14 media, but Aoun himself made a scornful comment about Frangieh in his press conference yesterday, so I think that rumors of a rift between the two men are probably accurate.
2) Staunchly pro-Syrian former minister Wi’am Wahhab was on TV yesterday, expressly calling for Aoun to quit messing the Lebanese people around and take the deal that Hariri was offering, namely that Aoun’s son-in-law Gebran Bassil would become Minister of Energy rather than Telecommunications. Usually, when Wi’am Wahhab speaks, you can assume the message is coming from Damascus.
[NB: I love the bit where Wahhab comments (indirectly to Aoun): “What’s the big deal if Gebran Bassil is in charge of Energy rather than Telecommunications? If he’s capable of achieving successes in the Telecommunications Ministry, then why can’t he achieve successes in the Energy Ministry? Plus, the Energy Ministry is even more in need of successes…”
Note the complete absence of any discussion as to whether or not Gebran Bassil is even qualified to be Minister of Energy! Quite a consolation prize, don’t you think? It kind of reminds me of my attempts to convince my three year-old daughter that the pair of pyjamas that I want her to put on is even prettier than the pair that she wants to wear…]
3) Nabih Berri is threatening to launch a one-man sit-in at the Parliament if the cabinet crisis is not resolved soon.
To sum up, then: Suleiman Bek, Wi’am Wahhab, and Nabih Berri are all getting fed up of the stalemate, and two of them have directed their ire at their own ally, Michel Aoun.