As Final Vote Tallied, Hezbollah-led Coalition Loses Majority in Lebanon

According to provisional turnout figures, 41 percent of Lebanon's 3.9 million registered voters cast a ballot
AFP

The Hezbollah-led bloc has lost its majority in the Lebanese parliament, yielding the way for the Christian Lebanese Forces to become the largest Christian party in the parliament, according to the final results of the elections announced on Tuesday.

Hezbollah and its allies coalition secured 61 seats in the 128-member legislature, 10 less than in the last elections in 2018.

Voter turnout stood at a meagre 41 percent in an election cycle that was marred by violence and power cuts.

The Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE) reported that monitors for the group were threatened by Hezbollah members and members of its ally, the Amal Movement, in several instances at various polling locations on Sunday.

The Christian Lebanese Forces gained 19 seats. Druze leader Walid Joumblatt also did well, securing eight seats. The Free Patriotic Movement, founded by Lebanese President Michel Aoun, dropped three seats since the last vote, and now holds 17 seats.

A day after the vote, Hezbollah MP Mohammed Raad warned other parties to “pay attention to their political discourse and behavior, and to the country’s future,” calling on them not to be the “fuel for a civil war,” the Al-Mayadeen outlet reported.

Hezbollah’s opponents would “lead Lebanon into the abyss” if they refused to form a national unity government, he warned. Directly addressing those parties, Raad said: “We accept you as our opponents in Parliament, but we will not accept you as shields for Israel and those behind it.”

The elections comes amid an ongoing economic crisis that has left much of Lebanon’s population mired in poverty, with no access to electricity or health care. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights, Olivier De Schutter, estimated that four our of five Lebanese have been plunged into poverty, and that the country constituted a “failing state.”

A U.N. report published last week stated that “the destruction of the national currency, exorbitant price increases and the collapse of the banking sector have led to the generalized impoverishment of the population amid sectarian political stasis.”

 

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