Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement and its allies have lost their parliamentary majority after the final results of the country’s general elections were announced today.
The Hezbollah-led bloc won 62 of the 128 seats up for grabs, three fewer than it needed and was a reversal of the 2018 results when it won a majority of 71.
Despite the setbacks, Hezbollah and its ally Amal gained all 27 parliament seats allocated for Shia lawmakers, compared to the 26 seats secured in the last elections. However Hezbollah’s allies lost seats in favour of independent candidates and the Saudi-backed Lebanese Forces (LF) party which emerged as the largest Christian bloc, replacing the Hezbollah-allied President Michel Aoun’s Christian Free Patriotic Movement.
Many among Lebanon’s Sunni community boycotted the elections after the head of the Future Movement, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri stepped down from politics in addition to the decision by the Saudis to withdraw support for the party.
In spite of Hezbollah’s losses, the movement is still seen as a “growing threat” to Israel. According to the Times of Israel, the election results would not change the influence exerted by the Iran-supported group: “The last time Hezbollah and its allies were in the minority against a theoretically unified March 14 bloc, until the 2018 elections, they still managed to pursue their goals domestically and regionally.”
The rise of independents in this year’s election amid the country’s economic meltdown and against the first election since the Beirut Port explosion in 2020 has sent a strong message to the political elites who have long been accused of corruption and mismanagement.