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Can Lebanon’s Old Guard forge new social contract?

Lebanese citizens hope for greater accountability, independence and distance from foreign conflicts after Michel Aoun engineers breakthrough by forming a new government.

Michel Aoun, the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanon’s new president, has done what many might have considered impossible until the moment it happened — gaining the acquiescence of Hezbollah to form a new Lebanese government with Saad Hariri as prime minister.

As this column noted last week, Hariri’s return as premier reverses a decline in his political fortunes. Hariri now has the chance to recast the Future Party and the March 14 movement with a perhaps less heavy Saudi hand, and, aspirationally, to form a government that will avoid factional paralysis and, finally, offer a vision and agenda responsive to the needs of the Lebanese people.

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