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Following three years of economic and political turmoil, Lebanon’s parliamentary elections on May 15 were a defining moment for the country’s future. The newly elected parliament will shape the country’s financial and economic future, form the next government, and elect the republic’s next president. Since 2019, the majority of the country’s population has slipped into poverty, while government services, including all-important electricity and water, continue to deteriorate amid growing fears of security ramifications. However, the elections and the next parliament are not the only deciding factors when it comes to developments on Lebanon’s political scene, given the presence of nonstate and paramilitary players as well as the region’s shifting power dynamics. The growing tensions between Iran, on one hand, and the United States and Israel, on the other, could potentially have an impact on Lebanon, considering the influence of Hezbollah, Tehran’s powerful proxy, and its national allies. What kind of government will the new parliament produce? Can these elections push forward much-needed government reforms? How will growing regional tensions impact the political process? Can the EU play a role in future dialogue and in facilitating a swift government formation process?
Amer Bisat | Head, Sovereign and Emerging Markets (alpha), BlackRock; Former Senior Economist, International Monetary Fund
Verena El Amil | Lawyer and Political Activist
Lama Fakih | Director, Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch
Kim Ghattas | Non-resident Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace