Hezbollah, Allies Gain Seats in Lebanon Parliament Vote, Unofficial Results Show

Hezbollah, Allies Gain Seats in Lebanon Parliament Vote, Unofficial Results Show

Hezbollah, Allies Gain Seats in Lebanon Parliament Vote, Unofficial Results Show

Unofficial results from Lebanon's parliamentary elections show that the Hezbollah resistance movement and its political allies secured over half the seats.

"In general, following the election results, we can say that in terms of means of our election campaign and the right choice of political alliances we achieved what we were counting on", Nasrallah said, aired by the Al Manar TV channel.

According to preliminary data, the unit of Hizbullah (including the Shiite movement Amal and the Christian "Free Patriotic movement") has received at least 67 of the 128 seats in Parliament.

Shi'ite group Hezbollah is an enemy of neighbouring Israel and is classified as a terrorist group by the United States.

"Hizbollah seeks to translate politically in Lebanon its "victory" in Syria, but it does not want to talk too loudly about it".

Hezbollah had been a dominant player in Lebanon before the election and its improved showing now comes at a time of heightened regional tensions between its patron, Iran, and arch foe, Israel, which in reaction to the result claimed there was no distinction between the party and state.

The election marks the first vote under the new proportional system, which replaced the structure where the winning party would carry all the seats in a particular district. Despite the setback, Mr. Hariri likely still has the largest bloc of Sunni Muslim seats, making him a front-runner to again lead the government in Lebanon's.

Hezbollah's simple majority bloc will allow them to veto any laws they oppose, but it would take a two-thirds majority to pass big legislation, such as amending the constitution.

Lebanon's distinctive model of sectarian-driven, power-sharing politics imply rival factions usually find yourself in the identical authorities, as is the case now the place Hezbollah is represented in Hariri's cupboard. Many who stayed away from the polling stations said they remained unconvinced that anything would change.

The low turnout — between 32 percent and 42 percent in Beirut precincts, according to Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk — betrayed widespread voter apathy for the main political currents governing the country and left open the possibility that outside candidates could win seats in Parliament.

Lebanon's Hizbollah paramilitary movement emerged as the main victor in the country's first election in nearly a decade, securing veto power in the Lebanese Parliament as the prime minister's fortunes fell.

Prime Minister and Future Movement leader Saad Hariri revealed his party won 21 parliamentary seats.

Turnout was 49.2 percent, down from 54 percent the last time legislative elections were held nine years ago.

And the Lebanese Forces occasion of former warlord Samir Geagea had been set to attain vital features, with a projected 15 seats.

Official results showed one candidate from a grassroots movement of activists, journalist Paula Yaacoubian, won a seat in the capital, an area traditionally monopolized by establishment political parties.

Hariri has called for the formation of a new government to be agreed on quickly, saying that speedy reforms are needed to reduce state debt and persuade Western donors to release $11 billion in aid and soft loans that were pledged in April at a conference in Paris.

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