The Hezbollah-led bloc lost its majority in the Lebanese parliament, paving the way for the Christian Lebanese Forces to become the largest Christian party in parliament, according to the final results of the elections announced on Tuesday.
Hezbollah and its allies coalition secured 61 seats in the 128-member legislature, 10 less than in the last election in 2018.
In an election cycle marred by violence and power outages, voter turnout was as low as 41 percent.
The Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE) reported that group watchers were threatened at various polls on Sunday by members of Hezbollah and its ally Amal Movement on several occasions.
The Christian Lebanese Forces won 19 seats. Druze leader Walid Joumblatt also succeeded, taking eight seats. The Free Patriotic Movement, founded by Lebanese President Michel Aoun, has dropped three seats since the last vote and now has 17.
Slammed by protests, Lebanon approved an economic recovery plan and sought help from the International Monetary Fund as it struggled through its worst financial crisis in decades. https://t.co/sc9vUa8aY1
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A day after the vote, Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad warned other parties to “pay attention to their political rhetoric and behavior and the future of the country” and urged them not to become “fuel of a civil war”. reported output.
Hezbollah’s opponents warned that they would plunge Lebanon into the abyss if they refused to form a national unity government. Addressing these parties directly, Raad said, “We accept you as our opponent in Parliament, but we will not accept you as a shield for Israel and those behind it.”
The elections took place amid an ongoing economic crisis that has left most of the Lebanese population in poverty without access to electricity or healthcare. UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Olivier De Schutter estimates that four out of five Lebanese are driven into poverty and the country is a “failed state.”
“The destruction of the national currency, exorbitant price increases and the collapse of the banking sector have led to the general impoverishment of the population amid sectarian political recession,” a UN report released last week said.