Skip to content

Lebanon: Hezbollah and its allies lose majority in Parliament

Legislative elections took place on Sunday in a country plagued by the worst socio-economic crisis in its history, blamed by a large part of the population, international organizations and foreign countries, on the corruption and inertia of the ruling class, unchanged for decades.

According to the final results, announced Tuesday by Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi, Shiite Hezbollah and its political allies did not obtain the 65 seats necessary to maintain their majority in the assembly, which has 128 deputies.

The Hezbollah-led bloc, which mainly includes the Shiite Amal party and the Free Patriotic Movement (CPL) Christian party of President Michel Aoun, had 70 deputies in the outgoing parliament.

Hezbollah, Amal and the CPL each kept almost the same number of seats as in the outgoing assembly, but deputies supporting them without being affiliated to them were not re-elected.

Their main opponent, the Christian Lebanese Forces party, announced that it had won 18 seats, compared to 15 seats in 2018.

The rest of the seats were obtained by the formation of the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, by small Christian parties, relatives of former Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri as well as independents from the protest and other independents. All are considered hostile to Hezbollah.

The great novelty remains the breakthrough of the independent candidates from the popular protest of 2019 which demanded the departure of the entire political class and a total overhaul of the political system based on a community sharing of power. They got at least 13 seats.

According to observers, these newly elected officials could position themselves as kingmakers for the formation of the new government.

The gigantic explosion of August 4, 2020, which left 214 dead and more than 6,500 injured, was triggered by the explosion of several hundred tonnes of ammonium stored since 2014 in a dilapidated port warehouse.

Photo: Getty Images/Daniel Carde

Also unprecedented, two independents from this protest movement, Firas Hamdane and Elias Jradé, succeeded in winning seats in southern Lebanon, a stronghold of Hezbollah, which had been held by the allies of the Shiite movement for three decades.

We will cooperate with all elected MPs who share the same political orientationMr. Hamdane told AFP. There is a lot of work to be done and a new political approach to take.

Sami Nader, an analyst at the Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs, doubts, however, that the reversal of the Hezbollah bloc, which remains very influential, will change the situation.

Hezbollah and the Iranian axis have taken a hit, but will that pave the way for change in Lebanon? I doubthe told AFP.

When will there be a new government?

The next deadlines – the formation of a government, the election of the President of Parliament and the presidential election scheduled for November – could lead to crises and prolonged deadlocks, due to the differences and the usual bargaining.

And that could delay the reforms demanded by the international community to save Lebanon from bankruptcy and provide it with the aid it badly needs. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) demands a strong commitment from Beirut to implement ambitious reforms to tackle mainly the restructuring of the financial sector and corruption.

Alex Issa, doctor of political science and international relations, said he feared blockages in decision-making in the absence of a decision-making majority in Parliament.

While the country is plunged into a very serious economic crisis, no recovery measures have been undertaken by the ruling class accused of letting the country sink.

Since 2019, the national currency has lost more than 90% of its value, savers face stifling banking restrictions and almost 80% of the population now lives below the poverty line, according to theUN. And in 2020, the state defaulted on its debt for the first time in its history.

The general secretary of theUNAntonio Guterres, said count on the new Parliament to urgently adopt all the laws necessary to stabilize the economy and improve governance.

According to him, the formation of a new executive will make it possible to FMI et accélérer la mise en œuvre des réformes nécessaires pour mettre le Liban sur la voie de la reprise”,”text”:”finaliser l’accord (en discussions) avec le FMI et accélérer la mise en œuvre des réformes nécessaires pour mettre le Liban sur la voie de la reprise”}}”>finalize the agreement (under discussion) with the IMF and accelerate the implementation of the reforms needed to put Lebanon on the road to recovery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.