The Arab-mediated Doha agreement reached Wednesday ended a standoff that had paralyzed Lebanon's government before boiling over into the worst violence since the 1975-1990 civil war, leaving at least 67 people dead and at least 200 wounded.
Suleiman's candidacy is unopposed, a compromise after the majority and the opposition withdrew their candidates. The army general bid farewell to fellow officers Saturday, and was expected to take off this uniform in a symbolic break with the military just after he is elected president.
The Qatar deal was a major victory for the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its allies, who got their long-standing demand for veto power over all government decisions.
But most Lebanese just seem happy that the shadow of war has been lifted, at least for now.
Over the past two days, life has returned to Beirut's upscale downtown district — a symbol of the city's rebirth after it was devastated and rebuilt after the 15-year civil war. The area had turned into a virtual ghost town by a Hezbollah-led sit-in for the past 17 months.
For now, Hizbollah and its allies--Syria and Iran--have scored a victory. The Sunnis and Christians (and any reasonable Shias) retreated from the radical Shias. We shall see whether this victory satisfies Hizbollah, Syria, and Iran or whether it whets their appetite for total victory.
But until then, we have "peace" in Lebanon.