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ELECTIONS 2022

The opposition forces make a breakthrough in Chouf-Aley

Here’s the first reading of the election results based, albeit based on preliminary numbers, in the constituency of Mount Lebanon IV



The opposition forces make a breakthrough in Chouf-Aley

A Lebanese woman checking her name on the lists of registered voters in order to be able to vote in the village of Baakline, in Chouf, on May 15, 2022. REUTERS / Emilie Madi

The constituency of Mount Lebanon IV, which includes the districts of Chouf and Aley (13 seats: five Maronites, four Druze, two Sunnis, one Greek Orthodox and one Greek Catholic), is probably the one where the traditional political parties have suffered their most significant loss.

Both the so-called March 14 and March 8 camps alliances have lost ground in this stronghold of Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Joumblatt, to the benefit of the protest movement groups which, at first sight, appeared to be weakened by divisions within their ranks.

These opposition groups succeeded in having three MPs elected, including Marc Daou, who was successful in defeating a key figure on the Druze scene, the leader of the Free Democratic Party, Talal Arslan.

Preliminary results

Chouf

    • The list supported by Joumblatt’s PSP, Samir Geagea’s Lebanese Forces and Camille Dory Chamoun’s National Liberal Party came in first, winning seven seats.

Taymour Joumblatt, the son and political heir of Joumblatt, was elected along with Marwan Hamade, a close associate to the senior Druze leader, winning the two Druze seats in the district.

Also on the PSP side, Bilal Abdallah was re-elected to one of the two Sunni seats in the constituency. George Adwan, vice president of the Lebanese Forces, also managed to keep his seat.

    • Two newcomers will enter Parliament from Chouf, both candidates on the main list of the protest movement group, “United for Change.”

They are Najat Aoun (Saliba), candidate of the Taqaddom party, elected to one of the Maronite seats in the Chouf. And Halima Qaqour, from the social-democratic party Lana, won the Sunni seat that was occupied by Future Movement MP Mohammad Hajjar.

The Free Patriotic Movement, meanwhile, must content itself with two MPs (and thus loses one compared to 2018): Ghassan Atallah, the former refugee affairs minister, elected to the Greek Catholic seat and outgoing Farid Boustani to the Maronite seat.

In Aley

Only one LF candidate won a seat: Nazih Matta (Greek Orthodox). Their PSP allies won a Maronite seat for Ragy Saad and a Druze seat for former minister Akram Chehayeb.

The second Druze seat went to Marc Daou, also a member of Taqaddom. Finally, the Aounists have returned former Energy MinisterCaesar Abi Khalil to the Maronite seat.

What to expect next

While we might know the names of the MPs of Mount Lebanon IV, there are still many unknowns that only the final results can clear up.

This is particularly true in relation to the number of preferential votes received by the traditional political figures, which would allow the assessment of the protest movement’s impact in terms of popularity.

It is also difficult to estimate how much the crumbling of the thawra (revolution) has cost its groups in terms of seats.

Moreover, the turnout announced by the Interior Ministry (44.5 percent) does not allow for an assessment of the mobilization of the Sunni electorate, whose main political representative, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, boycotted the vote.

What to remember

The traditional parties of the March 14 and March 8 lost ground in favor of new groups claiming to represent the protest movement, who managed to make surprising scores, especially by removing Arslan, a pro-Syrian regime Druze leader.

The latter is considered a figure of considerable weight on the Druze scene to whom Joumblatt, despite their rivalry, usually left a place in the Druze parliamentary representation in Aley.

*This analysis is based on figures that are not yet final and will be updated with the official results.

This article was originally published in French in L'Orient-Le Jour.


The constituency of Mount Lebanon IV, which includes the districts of Chouf and Aley (13 seats: five Maronites, four Druze, two Sunnis, one Greek Orthodox and one Greek Catholic), is probably the one where the traditional political parties have suffered their most significant loss.Both the so-called March 14 and March 8 camps alliances have lost ground in this stronghold of Progressive Socialist...