An Event and a Regional Trend

The crisis that besieges Olmert’s government has escalated through the violent stand of the minister of defense Ehud Olmert and his call for the resignation of Olmert. Olmert retaliated with sharpness that he will not leave his position for the foreign minister Tzipi Livni.
Some experts and analysts anticipate that Olmert will be forced to resign due to recent developments in the corruption case and the documents that indict him.
There are two possibilities for the destiny of Olmert: Either he will accept rearranging the government’s condition quietly through his personal resignation and appointing an alternative from Kadima in accordance with an understanding with the coalition’s partners, or Barak and the Labor will leave the coalition and hold the early parliamentary elections as an outlet from the crisis.
This crisis escalates in the shadow of Olmert government’s peace negotiations on all the lines after the dangerous failure on the hot fronts of the conflict with the Arabs. For this reason, observers put the files of exchanging captives with Hizbullah and Hamas, and the indirect negotiations with Syria in a status that surpasses the personal destiny of Olmert. Other analysts and observers said the confusion of the government condition will certainly reflect on these tracks through the gate of those who aspire to the position of the prime minister and who confiscate the achievements for themselves.

An event and a Lebanese Trend

The Labor of Forming the Government may take a Long Time

The authorization of Fouad al-Siniora to form the government has raised comments and doubts in the political and popular circles on the seriousness of the Loyalists in working to implement Doha agreement and facilitating the mission of the president Michel Suleiman. The formation of the government will be the focus of attention now:
- 1. A number of analysts focused on al-Siniora’s insistence on issuing something similar to the ministerial statement contrary to the adopted tradition, because the government, which will be formed, is a unity government and its statement will be the content of the compromise between the two teams of the loyalists and the opposition. Many believe that al-Siniora is obeying a demand from foreign sides through stressing his seven points and a set of items, which do not reflect his desire to adapt with the new condition. Al-Siniora’s sources deny such accusations, saying: it is necessary to look positively at the new stage. The compromise does not mean that each side should cancel its special tendencies and what the prime minister said is his personal opinion, and when the government is formed, all the sides should commit to its ministerial statement. The opposition mocked this, referring to the paragraphs of the previous ministerial statement, which protect resistance.
- 2. A number of political sides warned from the loyalists’ continuous sectarian provocation with the return of the lines of foreign financing.
- 3. Analysts expected that the formation of the new government will be difficult and take a very long time. Some observers warned from a US-Saudi wish to obstruct the implementation of Doha agreement.
- 4. The options of the ministers’ names and the portfolios will appear today. Hizbullah insists on sacrificing its ministerial share to name a Sunni and a Druze minister for the benefit of an expanded representation of the opposition. There is a debate on the position of the interior minister, which will be named by the president. Some analysts said the loyalists will obstruct understanding on the names of Christian ministers, saying there are disputes between the Lebanese forces, the Phalangists and Qarnet Sahwan on the one hand, and the Future Trend and the Socialist party on the other. These two sides occupied an important part of the Christian representation, due to the law for the year 2000, which was the basis of the last elections.
- 5. Press information said the Arab ministerial committee will sponsor the formation of the government.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper al-Khalij aid in its editorial that the Zionist entity possesses 150 nuclear weapons or more according to former US president Jimmy Carter.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that Israel obstructed the possibility of reaching a truce with Hamas.
The Syrian daily Tichrin said the US secretary of state will visit the area under the slogan of activating the Palestinians track but nothing suggests that she will achieve any important thing.
The Saudi paper al-Watan said targeting the security of Arab society increases through arming militias, as it is clear in Yemen, Lebanon, Sudan and Iraq.
The Israeli paper Haaretz said Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan welcomed the communications between Syria and Israel because they want to see Syria outside the radical camp and to weaken Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas.

Lebanese Press

Al-Akhbar said that authorizing Fouad al-Siniora to form the new government is the first test of Doha agreement but the opposition dealt with this as a shock.
As-Safir said authorizing Fouad al-Siniora to form the new government gave the impression that the climate of confrontation will return on the local and regional levels.
Ad-Diyar said Fouad al-Siniora did not get a high per cent of votes that support his nomination.

Television stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said those who nominated al-Siniora again work to target national unity through obeying foreign orders.
The NTV said the glory of the independence, which was given to the majority forces, fell in one night through a Saudi decision and a American enthusiasm.
The NBN said the votes that supported al-Siniora’s nomination are low.
The OTV wondered if the stage of the coup on Doha agreement started.
The LBC said the half plus one is not fulfilled in the presidential merit but it happened in the governmental merit.
The Future said Fouad al-Siniora is authorized to form the new government.

New Orient News

Tendencies is a daily political watch newsletter about the Near East, issued by New Orient News agency in Beirut, Lebanon. It is available on in Arabic, English, French, German, and Spanish languages. Also worth a read is Indicators, the daily Near East economic watch newsletter, available in Arabic, English and Spanish.