On Friday, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced that his government would resign because of a dispute with Hezbollah, the Shiite militia that dominates the Lebanese cabinet. Hezbollah had opposed extending the term of Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi, who heads the Lebanese Internal Security Forces and is, like Mikati, a Sunni Muslim.
But Elias Muhanna, assistant professor of comparative literature and Middle East studies at Brown University and author of the Qifa Nabki blog about Lebanon, told Trend Lines that Mikati also had other reasons to resign.
“There is a lot of polarization in this cabinet, which is typical for Lebanese politics, but given what is happening in Syria, there is even greater paralysis than usual,” Muhanna said, calling the fact that there is no electoral law for the upcoming parliamentary elections a major step backward for the country. “All these things added up, and Mikati found himself unable to do anything.”