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

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

If confirmed, the results would be yet another boost for Iran's allies in Lebanon and neighbouring Syria, where Tehran has seen its strength steadily grow over the past few years.

Lebanon's first national elections in nine years were marked by a tepid turnout Sunday, reflecting voter frustration over endemic corruption and a stagnant economy. The military wing of this organization recognized a terrorist group in the United Kingdom, Australia and the European Union.

In post-election remarks on Monday, the prime minister said the Future Movement had won 21 seats at the polls, down from 33 in the previous parliament. "It's the first time I vote", Therese, 60, told AFP outside a voting centre in central Beirut.

Lebanon is under pressure to prove to worldwide donors and investors - who pledged more than $11 billion to Beirut last month - that it has a credible plan to reform its economy. The May 6 elections were held under the proportional electin system (on party lists). Only about a quarter of voters had cast ballots by 2 p.m., the Interior Ministry said.

Hezbollah and its political allies won more than half the seats in Lebanon's first parliamentary election in nine years, according to unofficial preliminary results cited by politicians and Lebanese media.

"Hezbollah = Lebanon", Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a rightist in the Israel's conservative coalition government, said on Twitter on Monday.

He said he will continue to work closely with President Michel Aoun, who is allied with a rival bloc led by the Hezbollah terror group. The pro-Hezbollah al-Akhbar newspaper called it "the slap" for Hariri on its front page. During the "Syrian domination", he was considered one of the most powerful men in Lebanon.

The parliamentary elections in Lebanon were postponed several times due to the domestic political crisis and the war in neighboring Syria. He is the scion of a famous political dynasty and son of late former prime minister Omar Karame, who was an ally of Damascus.

But Hezbollah lost ground in one of its strongholds, the Baalbek-Hermel constituency. "Lebanon is a great country, and Lebanese people are very good people", she said. Last month, independent Shia candidate Ali Al Amin, standing against Hezbollah and Amal, another dominant Shia party, said 30 Hezbollah supporters beat him up as he placed an election poster in the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil. The divide reflects the region-wide rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

It is now easy to speak of a virtual bloc of close associates and supporters of Assad, which is something we thought was long gone after 2005.

A Lebanese supporter of the Christian Lebanese Forces party drives a vehicle flying their flag along the Dbayeh highway between the coastal city of Jounieh and the capital Beirut. He led the Lebanese Forces militia in the last years of the civil war, during which he was an adversary of Aoun.

But this argument is faced with an even stronger logic: There is no political stability or balance in Lebanon under the pressure of Hezbollah and its weapons, with the group seizing every opportunity to grow and become stronger. A doctor turned warlord and then politician, Gagegea is now establishing himself as leader of an impressive parliamentary bloc that will undoubtedly challenge Hezbollah within the Chamber - regardless of who controls the absolute majority.

In some places people waited over an hour to vote.

Having majority in parliament will better position Hizbollah to fend off any suggestion it should disarm and allow the group to more tightly direct the country's foreign and defence policy.

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