Losses in the parliamentary elections
Hezbollah camp loses majority in Lebanon
05/17/2022 12:36 PM
Shiite Hezbollah remains the most powerful force in Lebanon’s parliament, but the bloc surrounding the Islamist party is suffering losses. Representatives of the opposition reform camp won a surprising number of seats in the first elections after the devastating explosion in the port of Beirut.
Shiite Hezbollah and its allies lost the majority in the parliamentary elections in crisis-torn Lebanon. According to the preliminary final result, they gathered only 62 deputies out of 128. Representatives of the opposition protest movement won 13 seats – much more than expected. Their goal is to break the monopoly of power for the parties that have ruled the Mediterranean country for decades.
Hezbollah, closely allied with Iran, is the most influential political force in Lebanon. Its strength lies, among other things, on its own militia, through which it controls entire regions, including the border with its archenemy Israel. In Sunday’s parliamentary elections, Hezbollah itself was able to roughly hold its seats. However, many of their partners have lost states. In the 2018 vote, the Hezbollah bloc still had 71 deputies.
The reform camp is growing strong
The party of former Christian militia leader Samir Geagea, one of Hezbollah’s harshest critics, also made gains. It now claims to be the most powerful Christian force in the multi-denominational nation.
Reformist camp candidates won at least 13 seats. They represent the interests of a protest movement that sprang up in 2019, especially the youth, who opposed the ruling elites. The movement received a new impetus after the devastating explosion that took place in the port of Beirut and claimed the lives of more than 200 people.
Lebanon’s political system has long shared power between religious sects and strengthened the ruling elite. The president of the republic is traditionally a Maronite Christian, the prime minister is a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of parliament is a Shiite. This system reduces electoral opportunities for non-religious parties and representatives of civil society.