Voters in Lebanon face a stark choice in crucial elections on Sunday – they will either renew the mandate of a Western-backed coalition or hand power to the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah Alliance.
Although the latter’s slogan decries “corruption debt and deprivation”, its enemies point out that it gained its political power through its notoriety as an armed resistance movement.
Without doubt the US and West would prefer not to see the return of a Hezbollah-led Lebanese government, leaning towards Syria.
The current Sunni majority in parliament, the Future bloc, is headed by Saad Hariri who swept to power on a sympathy vote shortly after the withdrawal of the Syrian army in the wake of the assassination of his father.
50,00 soldiers and policemen will be deployed to secure peaceful balloting in the divided nation. But with the outcome too close to call, whoever wins might be forced to form a unity government to keep a precarious regional balance.
Lebanon's future in voters' hands