Hizbullah seen winning majority in Lebanon parliament, as Iran gains regional clout

by WorldTribune Staff, May 7, 2018

The Iran-backed terrorist group Hizbullah is expected to win a majority in Lebanese parliament following the nation’s first general election in nine years.

Hizbullah supporters at an election rally. / AP

Preliminary results from the May 6 election show the Resistance Movement bloc of parties, led by Hizbullah, is expected to win more than 64 seats in the 128-member parliament.

“Hizbullah’s powerful position in Lebanon reflects Iran’s growing power in the region,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty noted in a May 7 report.

Hizbullah is classified as a terrorist group by the United States and is an enemy of neighboring Israel.

Responding to the preliminary results, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennet said the election shows that the state of Lebanon is indistinguishable from Hizbullah.

“Israel will not differentiate between the sovereign State of Lebanon and Hizbullah and will view Lebanon as responsible for any action from with its territory,” Bennet tweeted. “Hizbullah = Lebanon.”

Meanwhile, western-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected to hold onto power, with his Future Movement leading the largest Sunni Muslim bloc, Arutz Sheva said in a May 7 report.

Under Lebanon’s power sharing arrangement, the prime minister is required to be a member of the country’s Sunni Muslim population and is chosen from the largest Sunni faction in parliament.

Lebanon’s president is always a member of the country’s Christian community, which makes up roughly 41 percent of Lebanon’s four million citizens.

The Hizbullah alliance in Lebanon’s parliament comprises other Shi’ite factions, including the Amal Movement, led by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, and the largely Christian Free Patriotic Movement.

The election was marked by a low voter turnout of 49.2 percent. That was less than expected and below the 54 percent who cast ballots in the country’s previous general election in 2009.

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