While international envoys and leaders seem to be falling over themselves to help usher in an end to the presidential vacuum here, Lebanese politicians themselves seem less prepared to give their full attention to the problem.
Or rather, they are motivated to an extent, but only so far as they believe it will benefit them. This is especially true of Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun and Lebanese Forces head Samir Geagea.
The two Maronite leaders are apparently unprepared to see the presidential gap for what it is – a national crisis deserving of their immediate and full attention. It seems to them little more than a nuisance, or any other political issue that they can squabble and bicker over, hoping to get the most personal capital out of it as possible.
Prime Minister Tammam Salam met Thursday in Paris with French President Francois Hollande. And high-level ministers from Russia and elsewhere have also been in Beirut in recent days to help mediate between sparring politicians and try to broker a way out of this mess.
But it seems as if Lebanon’s political leaders – particularly those holding up any progress on the presidential front – are behaving like petulant children, determined to get their own way, at whatever cost. It should be a cause for embarrassment that foreign powers – undeniably motivated by self-interest but at least prepared to move the issue forward – seem more committed to closing the presidential file than political leaders at home.
With the security situation in Lebanon in the state that it is in, now is the time for strong leaders who can make difficult decisions and, when necessary, sacrifices.