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Special tribunal may foreshadow agreement on Lebanon government

Various domestic and regional developments, most notably the first session of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to be held this week, could be the necessary spark for Lebanese factions to finally agree on a government.
Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman (C) meets with members of "March 14" coalition at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, June 18, 2013. Lebanon's main Sunni Muslim political party pleaded with the presidency on Tuesday to prevent "state collapse", blaming the Shi'ite Hezbollah group for dragging the country into the war in neighbouring Syria. REUTERS/Dalati Nohra/Handout via Reuters (LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Suddenly, the formation of the Lebanese government was set in motion again, giving rise to cautious optimism about the return of constitutional life to this small country.

One would naturally ask about the reasons behind this recent motion: Have regional power balances changed and been positively reflected on the Lebanese parties, shaking them awake and leading them to show keenness in avoiding institutional vacuum, ending stagnation and governing the affairs of the country and its citizens? Or are there imminent milestones on the international and regional levels rendering the shielding behind the Lebanese state, its legitimate institutions, and national partnership — dubbed mithaqiya — a need? Mithaqiya refers to the concept that the Lebanese state was built upon, a national pact — or mithaq — between various sectarian groups to form the Lebanese nation. It is a concept evoked when one party’s interests are not met, and it has become synonymous with obstructing —  or even turning against — the state.

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