December 2, 2022

Hezbollah-led coalition loses seats in Lebanon’s election

Hezbollah and its allies lost their parliamentary majority in Lebanon’s first election since the 2020 Beirut port explosion, in a setback for the Iran-backed militant and political group, the Wall Street Journal’s Nazih Osseiran reports. With no alliance winning a clear majority, lengthy negotiations could ensue between the various factions in Lebanon’s sectarian-based political system over forming a government.

A prolonged deadlock could derail the reforms needed to unlock the billions of dollars in international aid and loans that could help alleviate the tiny Middle Eastern country’s economic woes.

While Hezbollah maintained its tally in the 128-member Parliament, its allies and partners, especially the Free Patriotic Movement—a Maronite Christian party founded by President Michel Aoun—lost some seats. The pro-Hezbollah coalition won 62 seats this time, down from 71 in the last election in 2018, the official results show.

The FPM’s main rival, the Lebanese Forces, a right-wing Christian party aligned with Saudi Arabia, was among the big gainers. Independent candidates, many backed by the civil-society groups that sprang up from the economic protests of 2019, also scored wins.

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