Lebanese parliamentary elections didn’t turn out the way Washington and Israel wanted.
The May 6 general election was the first in nine years. Results were as follows:
Hezbollah and its allies won a 67-seat majority of parliament’s 128 seats – equally divided between Muslims and Christians.
The right-wing Christian Lebanese Forces was the biggest winner in Sunday elections, nearly doubling its number of parliamentary seats from 8 to 15.
Hezbollah has 13. Its allies made significant gains, including the Shiite Amal Movement and President Michel Aoun’s Christian Free Patriotic Movement.
The Hezbollah-linked broadsheet Al-Akbhar headlined “The Slap,” featuring a dour-looking Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Iran’s Tasnim news agency headlined “Lebanese election result puts an end to Hariri’s monopoly among Sunnis.”
His Future Movement alliance lost a third of its seats, yet remains the largest parliamentary Sunni bloc. He’ll likely remain prime minister, considerably weakened post-election.
For the first time, a proportionally representative system was in place, replacing the winner-take-all one, permitting more independent candidates to participate. Turnout was low at 49%.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi issued a statement, saying
“Lebanon is an independent country…Iran respects (the) vote of the Lebanese people…We are ready to work with…the government elected by the majority.”
Islamophobe Israeli minister Naftali Bennett tweeted:
“Hezbollah = Lebanon…Israel will not differentiate between the sovereign State of Lebanon and Hezbollah, and will view Lebanon as responsible for any action from within its territory.”
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called parliamentary results a “political and moral victory” for the resistance.
In a televised address, he said the electoral “mission is accomplished,” giving Hezbollah and its allies power to veto legislation they consider unacceptable.
A unity cabinet is likely to be formed, including Hezbollah. It’s falsely designated a terrorist organization by the State Department, at the behest of Israel, its tail too often wagging the US dog on regional issues.
Under Lebanon’s confessional system, the president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and the parliament speaker a Shia Muslim.
Western favorite Hariri will likely remain prime minister, but the balance of power now favors Hezbollah and its allies.