Hezbollah, allies lose Lebanese parliamentary majority

Beirut, May 17 (EFE).- Lebanon’s pro-Iranian Hezbollah movement and its allies have lost the parliamentary majority, as rival political factions and independent candidates made gains, official results of this weekend’s legislative elections showed Tuesday.

The Shiite political party and militant group and its ally, Amal, retained their 27 seats in the 128-member parliament, Lebanese interior minister Bassam Mawlawi said during a press conference.

The bloc, however, saw key non-Shiite allies including the Christian Free Patriotic Movement founded by Lebanese President Michel Aoun lose seats.

In the 2018 elections, Hezbollah and its allies won a majority of 71 seats in the parliament.

The Lebanese Forces, staunch critics of Hezbollah, have become the country’s largest Christian parliamentary bloc after winning 17 seats, replacing the Free Patriotic Movement.

The Druze Progressive Socialist Party will have seven seats in the new parliament.

More than a dozen independent new faces linked to opposition and reform list won seats significantly more than expected.

The new parliament is set to elect the next Lebanese president by the end of 2022.

These parliamentary elections were the first since mass protests swept the country in 2019 and a deadly explosion devastated Beirut port a year later, killing over 200 people.

The elections also came amid a devastating economic crisis, which has gripped the country since the end of 2019, pushed almost 80% of the population below the poverty line and caused the Lebanese pound to lose more than 90% of its value.EFE


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