Hezbollah, Allies Gain Seats in Lebanon Parliament Vote, Unofficial Results Show

Hezbollah, Allies Gain Seats in Lebanon Parliament Vote, Unofficial Results Show”

The Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said the party's goals had been achieved by the ballot, which has put it in a strong position for post-election negotiations that apportion ministries and control over state institutions.

Israel has warned that "Hezbollah equals Lebanon" following the election success of the Iran-backed Shia Islamist group in the country's election.

The latter is a good friend of the Saudis, and so is former prime minister Najib Mikati, who swept all seats in Tripoli in northern Lebanon, signaling that Saudi Arabia's long-time favoritism for Hariri has waned.

The image sparked outrage on social media.

Hariri has served as prime minister twice: from 2009-11 and from December 2016 until now.

Hezbollah is considered a terrorist group by the USA, but its political wing has long held seats in Lebanon's parliament and is part of Lebanon's outgoing coalition government.

Supporters chanted "Beirut became Shiite" as they weaved between cars after the rally.

Lebanon held its first parliamentary election in almost a decade on Sunday.

The opposing coalition, led by Hariri, which has disintegrated in recent years, suffered heavy losses.

The gains for parties and politicians who support Hizbollah's possession of weapons risk complicating Western policy in Lebanon, which is banking on foreign aid and loans to revive its stagnant economy and receives U.S. military support.

Some 586 candidates, including 86 women, were running for the 128-seat parliament, which is equally divided between Muslims and Christians.

Hezbollah and its allies are likely to add more seats, while Hariri is likely to lose several.

The announcement of official results had been promised in the morning but was delayed for logistical reasons, sparking concern among some political forces over the increased chance of electoral fraud.

We will remind, on Sunday, may 6, in Lebanon held its first in 10 years parliamentary elections.

Despite the emergence of independent groups participating in the vote on anti-establishment platforms, some Lebanese expressed deep scepticism their efforts would succeed.

Nasrallah did not say how many seats his group and its allies won, but early results show that they have won at least 43 of the legislature's 128 seats, giving them the power to veto laws.

The Christian Lebanese Forces, outspoken critics of Hezbollah, are expected to roughly double their representation in parliament, to around 15 seats.

But Hezbollah lost ground in one of its strongholds, the Baalbek-Hermel constituency.

Some Israeli analysts suggest they should be pleased with the election results.

However, there was a security presence in Beirut yesterday and a Reuters witness saw a long military column of armoured vehicles and other troop carriers driving slowly into the capital. Supporters shouted abusive chants against senior Beirut figures. Hariri is also a Western-backed candidate. "And I, as head of the Future Movement, am continuing amidst these challenges, on all levels - politically, nationally, and economically", Hariri told reporters. Akkar district in northern Lebanon was excluded due to an ongoing tallying process.

Voter turnout was 49.2% in Lebanon's first parliamentary election in nine years Sunday, Lebanon's Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk said at a televised news conference.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday that Hezbollah's expected success in the 2018 Lebanese general election reinforces Israel's continued policy of holding its northern neighbor to account for the actions of the Shiite group. "Israel should not differentiate between them in any future war".

Per the strict sectarian quota that long governed the country, the two districts together are allocated 18 seats in total: 14 Shia, one Greek Catholic, one Greek Orthodox, one Druze and one Sunni - all of which were won by Hezbollah, Amal and their allies.

However, on Monday, unofficial reports stated that Haddad lost her seat after candidate Antoine Pano surpassed her polls.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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