Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Shiites could lose their majority in the Lebanese parliament

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Tuesday, May 17th 2022 à 15:50 | Read 159 times

The Lebanese Parliament is waiting for its 128 new members (photo: DR)
The Lebanese Parliament is waiting for its 128 new members (photo: DR)
LEBANON. Abstention was the big winner of the parliamentary elections in Lebanon on Sunday 15 May 2022. However, it was the first time that the Lebanese (3.9 million registered voters) could go to the polls to elect their deputies since 2019 and the beginning of the socio-economic crisis. But the figures are there: the turnout was only 41% (48.68% in the previous elections in 2018 and 55% in 2009). 103 lists were in the running, proposing 718 candidates (of which 118 were women).

128 seats were waiting for their representatives on the assembly benches. This renewal brought the hope for some to do away with the current political class, which they consider incapable, because of the communitarian system, of putting the country back on its feet. The challenge was therefore to see new faces arrive with the candidates from the lists close to the protest movement that began in 2019.
Six of them could enter parliament according to provisional figures. However, the traditional parties have still managed to win despite the presence of these independents and the economic situation of Lebanon, which has been bankrupt since March 2020.
Even if the balance is shifting.

Independents elected

The last legislative elections in 2018 were won by Hezbollah and its allies, represented in particular by the Free Patriotic Movement (CPL) of President Michel Aoun and the Shiite movement Amal of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. The party of the Sunni Saad Hariri (Future Movement), several times Prime Minister and which had failed to form a government in March 2021, decided to boycott the election.

On Monday evening, 16 May 2022, Bassam Maouaoui, Lebanese Minister of Interior, indicated the results in seven constituencies, representing 49 seats. In the constituency of Mount Lebanon II (Kesrouan, Jbeil), two independent deputies from the protest movements (Maronites Nehmat Frem and Farid el-Khazen) enter the Parliament. Of the eight seats, seven go to Maronites (Eastern Catholic Christians) and the last to Hezbollah (Shiite). South Lebanon I (Saida, Jezzine) sees the five seats divided between independent Sunnis (2), Maronites (2, 1 supported by the Lebanese Forces and the other independent) and Greek-Catholic (1 supported by the Lebanese Forces).

Shiites in force in South Lebanon II and Beekaa III

The parties supported by the Amal movement and Hezbollah took all seven seats in South Lebanon II (Tyre, Zahrani). In Bekaa I (Zahle) the CPL-Hezbollah won three of the seven seats to be filled and thus tied with the candidates supported by the Lebanese Forces. The last one is won by a Greek-Catholic close to the protest movement.

In Beekaa III (Baalbeck-Hermel), the Amal-Hezbolah tandem takes nine seats out of the ten (one for the Lebanese Forces). In Mount Lebanon III (Baabda), they won three out of six (the others go to the Lebanese Forces (2) and to a Druze from the PSP).

As for the six seats in Bekaa II (Rachaya-West Bekaa), they are divided between Amal and CPL (3), the PSP (2) and a Sunni from the protest groups.

It will take a few more hours to know the final results in the fifteen constituencies. Relying on the preliminary results, the local press mentions a victory of the Lebanese Forces (Christian right) of Samir Geagea.

Read also: "Agnès Levallois: The only possible way out of the crisis in Lebanon is a secular state"
Xavier Baron: "I don't see the way out of the Lebanese crisis in the suppression of communalism

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