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Lebanese Elections Linked To Syria, Regional Crisis

Although regional crises threaten to postpone upcoming Lebanese parliamentary elections, the international community is insistent upon elections taking place on time, writes Mohammad Harfoush.
Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by the patriarch of Lebanese Christian Maronites, Bishara Boutros al-Rai, as Lebanon's President looks on upon  his arrival at Beirut's airport September, 14, 2012. REUTERS/ Jamal Saidi          (LEBANON - Tags: RELIGION POLITICS) - RTR37YUG
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Lebanon's electoral and political landscape remains under close surveillance as regional and international fault lines take shape. This anticipation results from new information implying that the next three months will be critical in deciding the fate of the Syrian conflict. Reports from Western countries suggest that Russian sources have presented information to Lebanese leaders showing that ongoing skirmishes in Damascus are primed to ignite into full-scale war. If these assessments are accurate, Lebanon would experience significant repercussions within its borders.

Spillover from Syria is likely to create security disturbances inside Lebanon. These events could inhibit other developments in Lebanon — or, put more plainly, unless the clouds of the Syrian conflict disperse, Lebanon will remain void of political dialogue, election law reform and elections. And according to international consensus, Syria's long-standing crisis is likely to continue into the foreseeable future.

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