Hezbollah To Win Big In First Lebanese Parliamentary Elections In Nine Years

Hezbollah To Win Big In First Lebanese Parliamentary Elections In Nine Years

Hariri's Future Movement picked up only 21 seats this election, whereas in the last round of parliamentary elections the bloc picked up 33 seats and held a previous anti-Hezbollah coalition known as the "March 14 Alliance", supported by Saudi Arabia.

Qassemi also congratulated the candidates that have won the vote of people in the first parliamentary elections in Lebanon in nine years.

The two main protagonists of the country's first legislative polls in nearly a decade did not wait for official results to comment on the implications of a vote which was also marked by low turnout.

The Iran-backed Shiite movement and its allies look set to secure a parliament bloc large enough to thwart attempts for it to disarm, a longstanding demand of its political enemies.

Lebanon's unique brand of sectarian-driven, power-sharing politics mean rival factions often end up in the same government, as is the case now where Hezbollah is represented in Hariri's cabinet.

Hezbollah was founded as a resistance movement to Israel.

Despite the losses, the result positions Hariri as the frontrunner to form the next government as the Sunni Muslim leader with the biggest bloc in parliament. The United States designates Hezbollah as a terrorist group and also arms and trains the Lebanese army.




A higher turnout than the 49.2 percent announced overnight had been expected after the long electoral hiatus but the new pre-printed ballots used Sunday appeared to confuse some voters.

In Beirut precincts, the turnout was between 32 percent and 42 percent.

Hezbollah as well as groups and individuals affiliated to it have won at least 67 seats in Lebanon's parliament, according to the results cited by politicians and campaigns and reported in Lebanese media.

The elections were the first since war broke out in neighbouring Syria in 2011, sending over one million refugees to Lebanon, a small country with a population estimated at around 4.5 million.

The leader of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group said on Monday election that results are a "political and moral victory" for the resistance, as it refers to itself and its regional allies.

The war has divided Lebanon, pitting parties supporting Hezbollah's intervention in Syria to aid Bashar al Assad's forces against Saudi-aligned parties opposed to it.

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