Hizbollah gains power in Lebanon's first election in almost a decade

Hizbollah gains power in Lebanon's first election in almost a decade

Hizbollah gains power in Lebanon's first election in almost a decade

Unofficial results from Lebanon's first parliamentary election in nearly a decade show that Hezbollah and its political allies have won just over half of the seats.

Hezbollah and its political affiliates secured 67 seats in the Lebanese parliament, bringing them to a simple majority, according to unofficial results from both politicians like Hariri and Lebanese news outlets.

"Your trust is a medal on my chest", he said.

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has acknowledged that his parliamentary bloc lost seats in this week's elections, blaming it on a new electoral law and a performance "that wasn't up to the standard". "They punished themselves and paved way for our rivals to win more seats".

"Through the will of the people, we were victorious on all fronts", he declared.

"The country needs stability".

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"There is a major political, parliamentarian and moral victory for the choice of the resistance", Mr Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

A Lebanese supporter of the Hezbollah terror group casts his vote in Lebanon's first parliamentary election in nine years, at a polling station in the predominantly Shiite city of Baalbeck, in the eastern Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, on May 6, 2018.

"This campaign and effort in Baalbek came with counter results as the voting rate among Shiites exceeded that of 2009", Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out, noting that those who were waiting for the results to say that the resistance has lost its popularity lost their bargain.

Hezbollah is considered a terrorist group by the United States and Israel, but its political wing has long held seats in Lebanon's parliament and is part of Lebanon's outgoing coalition government.

The elections, the first since 2009, were postponed twice for security reasons and political disputes over an electoral law.

A new electoral law redrew the country into 15 electoral districts, further entrenching Lebanon's foundational sectarian makeup, and introduced proportional representation.

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With Hezbollah's political strategy based on "eliminating serious resistance" at the same time as "co-opting" leading non-Shia politicians like Hariri, the Sunni prime minister, and Michel Aoun, Lebanon's Christian president, Ghaddar forecast that Lebanon's "military and judicial institutions is where they will now be exerting their power".

Sabah Darazi, a 65-year-old retired employee of the Education Ministry, told Xinhua at a polling station in Sidon (Saida), 45 km south of Beirut, that she hoped there will be more women lawmakers in the parliament, citing that Lebanese women are "full of aspiration and wittiness". Seats in parliament are equally divided between Lebanon's Muslims and Christians.

The vote in Beirut was notably "a big defeat for Hariri", she continued, with Hezbollah underlining its triumph in the Lebanese capital by placing its flag on the memorial statue to Rafik Hariri - Sa'ad's father, who was assassinated in a terrorist auto bombing in 2005. Analysts predict that influential Shiite movement Hezbollah, backed by Iran and wielding a formidable arsenal it refused to give up after the civil war, would retain or slightly increase its clout in the legislature.

The army deployed after Hariri called for action to prevent such "chaos in the streets".

Motorcycles have been banned in Beirut for the next 72 hours, apparently after a pro-Hezbollah motorcycle convoy was shot at.

Sunday's elections came after parliamentary terms were extended three times - in 2013, 2014 and 2017 - due to political instability caused by the war in neighbouring Syria.

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Recall that Hezbollah, since 2011 actively involved in the Syrian civil war on the side of Assad, is considered a terrorist organization in Israel, USA, Canada, and also in many Arab countries.

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