‘Terrorist’ Hezbollah, allies make big gains in Lebanon polls; West-backed PM losing trust?
Iran-backed Hezbollah, Amal Movement and allies made big gains in Lebanon's parliamentary elections held on Sunday, May 6, the local media said in its initial reports. West-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri's Future Movement suffered losses, said preliminary and unofficial results that came out in the Lebanese media on Monday, May 7.
According to Associated Press, Hariri lost five seats in Beirut where his party had a strong hold once. It said the results indicated that the Sunni voters were losing trust on Hariri - a Sunni and a close ally to Saudi Arabia. Economic stagnation and the general disappointment over the devastating war in neighbouring Syria leading to a massive influx of refugees into Lebanon might have propelled them against the prime minister, the AP report said. However, Hariri would yet have the largest Sunni support in parliament which would see him form the next government irrespective of the losses.
The official results were due to be announced late on Monday.
The AP report also added that the new government would likely include Hariri's opponents from the Hezbollah group.
Hezbollah and its allies could win at least 47 seats in the 128-seat parliament and this would empower them to veto any laws that the country's Shiites oppose.
The Hezbollah is considered a terror outfit by the US while the European Union accords the same tag to its military wing. Hezbollah has also backed Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in the country's civil war while its interference in countries like Yemen and Syria has earned it the terrorist label from a number of oil-rich Gulf nations.
The Hezbollah and Amal Movement fielded joint 'Hope and Loyalty' lists in many electoral districts for this election.