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Lebanon’s Aoun leaves office amid political vacuum

Mariam Saleh
Press TV, Beirut

History repeats itself once more in Lebanon as president Michel Aoun steps out of a presidential palace that will remain vacant for an unknown period of time.

Addressing flocks of supporters, Aoun said a chapter has ended in Lebanon’s politics and a new chapter will begin.

Aoun talked about the recent agreement with Israel to demarcate Lebanon’s maritime borders. He said the deal secured the nation's access to its natural resources, adding that the future revenues should be used to repair the Lebanese economy.

Aoun took office in 2016. His was marred by mass protests, a severe economic crisis and currency collapse, and the August 2020 portside blast that killed hundreds.

President Michel Aoun ends his term today at a time when Lebanon is deeply divided on various issues, but it was this term that has given the country what experts are calling a golden opportunity to become a gas exporter and salvage its economy.

President Aoun does not only leave behind a country without a head of state, but as he goes back to his residency, the political divide remains quite entrenched, and experts see that the maritime border deal proves that the west has lifted its undeclared blockade on Lebanon.

Lebanese lawmakers have failed to agree on electing a successor for Aoun with no side having a clear majority to impose a candidate to succeed him.

A caretaker government has been in place since the parliamentary elections last spring, and with no hope in forming a new cabinet in the last hours of Aoun’s term, political divisions are expected to deepen until the election of a new president.

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