March 8 Alliance
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The March 8 Alliance was a coalition of various political parties in Lebanon. It had been the ruling coalition in Lebanon with the government headed by prime Minister Najib Mikati from June 2011 until 23 March 2013. The alliance ended on 9 July 2013.
The name dates back to 8 March 2005 when different parties called for a mass demonstration in downtown Beirut in response to the Cedar Revolution. The demonstration thanked Syria for helping stop the Lebanese Civil War and the aid in stabilising Lebanon and supporting the Lebanese resistance to the Israeli occupation.
Inclusion of Free Patriotic Movement
Although the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) was the basis of the March 14 Alliance movement through the launching of the Liberation War against the Syrian Army on 14 March 1989 and its leading participation to all contests against the Syrian occupation until the Cedar Revolution's mass demonstration on 14 March 2005, political analysts consider that Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) left the March 14 Alliance on 6 February 2006, when its leader Michel Aoun signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hezbollah. FPM considered its job against the Syrian regime as finished when its army left Lebanon at the end of April 2005.
Free Patriotic Movement led by Michel Aoun eventually joined the rival March 8 Alliance, becoming one of its principal coalition partners.
Ruling Alliance (2011-2013)
The Progressive Socialist Party left the March 14 alliance in January 2011 after being one of its cornerstones and ostensibly aligned itself with the alliance's Change and Reform Bloc after Walid Jumblatt visited Damascus. This move gave the alliance and its partners a majority in the parliament, enabling them to name Najib Mikati as prime minister to form the Lebanese government of June 2011.
The government led by March 8 Alliance survived 22 months until Mikati's resignation on 23 March 2013.
On 9 July 2013, Nabih Berri, the head of the mainly Shi'ite Amal Movement, announced the collapse of the March 8 Alliance, following a series of disagreements between himself and the head of the alliance's main Christian figurehead, Michel Aoun. Disagreements had centred around the June 2013 extension of the Lebanese parliament, which Aoun had opposed, and the extension of the terms of several high-ranking Lebanese security officials, which Berri had targeted to stability, but Aoun had opposed.
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It held 68 of 128 seats in the parliament after the 2009 elections and consisted of:
|Party||Arabic Name||Seats in Parliament (after 2009 election)||Demographic Base|
|Free Patriotic Movement||at-Tayyar al-Watani al-Hurr||19||Secular, predominantly Christian|
|Amal Movement||Harakat Amal||13||Secular, predominantly Shi'a Muslim|
|Progressive Socialist Party||al-Hizb at-Taqaddumi al-Ishtiraki||7||Secular, predominantly Druze|
|Lebanese Democratic Party||al-Hizb ad-Dimuqrati al-Lubnani||4||Secular, Druze|
|El Marada Movement||Tayyar al-Marada||3||Christian, mainly Maronite|
|Glory Movement||Harakat Majd||2||Sunni Muslim|
|Armenian Revolutionary Federation||Tashnag||2||Secular Armenian|
|Syrian Social Nationalist Party||al-Hizb as-Suri al-Qawmi al-Ijtima'i||2||Secular with support across all communities|
|Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party||Hizb al-Ba'th al-Arabi al-Ishtiraki||2||Secular|
|Solidarity Party||Hizb at-Tadamoun||1||Maronite Christian|
|Skaff Bloc||Kutlat Skaff||0||Secular, mainly Greek Catholic|
|Popular Nasserite Organization||at-Tanzim ash-Sha’bi al-Nasiri||0||Secular, mainly Sunni Muslim|
|Arab Democratic Party||al-Hizb ad-Dimuqrati al-Arabi||0||Alawi Muslims|
- March 8 finished, Aoun out in the cold The Daily Star 10 July 2013
- El Basha, Thomas (22 March 2013). "Lebanese PM announces resignation of his government". The Daily Star. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
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