As unhappy as Michel Aoun and his Free Patriotic Movement colleagues claim to be with the parliamentary extension, which he has slammed as illegal and unconstitutional, there are steps he and his party could take to change the situation. But his protests seem to be little more than meaningless outbidding and an effort to attract attention.
A genuine way to express his alleged discontent with the situation – that the parliamentary mandate has been extended for two and a half years – would be for FPM MPs to resign, and for those in the Cabinet to step down also.
This would not only send a real message but it would bring down the government, and so would actually change events on the ground.
But Aoun, who as everyone knows is preoccupied with becoming president nearly to the point of obsession, realizes he cannot do this, for that would minimize his already diminishing chances of reaching the throne. Were he to be elected tomorrow, he would have been voted in by a Parliament he has slammed as “illegal.” But it seems unlikely he would turn down the opportunity.
As it stands, another parliamentary extension in a couple of years seems likely. Until parliament can agree on a new president and then a new election law, the status quo will remain. And the person who is perhaps the most to blame is the person most critical of the situation. Without his intransigence and stubbornness, we may not have arrived at the deadlock we have now. If he were truly concerned with the good of the country, if he cared about stability, security and progress, Aoun would be a lot more flexible.