The South Lebanon I constituency, consisting of the city of Saida and Jezzine, has had the most surprises, as the two main political parties in the area, namely Amal and the Free Patriotic Movement, have both failed to reach the electoral threshold.
The reshuffling of alliances in this electoral district, the only one without geographical contiguity, has completely changed the political landscape, especially with the absence of Saad Hariri’s Future Movement who sat out of the election.
In Saida (two Sunni seats)
Incumbent MP Oussama Maarouf Saad and Abdel Rahman Bizri, known for his role as the former mayor of Saida and the head of Lebanon’s COVID-19 vaccination committee, who formed an alliance list, won the two seats in the city of Saida.
Both Yousef al-Nakib, a candidate supported by former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, and Nabil al-Zaatari, supported by Parliament Nabih Berri, lost.
In Jezzine (two Maronites and one Greek-Catholic)
In Jezzine, the list formed by the Lebanese Forces had a surprising score, winning two seats, the Greek-Catholic seat went to Ghada Ayoub and one of the two Maronite seats went to Saeed al-Asmar.
The second Maronite seat went to Charbel Masaad, candidate on the Bizri-Saad alliance list. Berri lost his bet as none of his candidates, Ibrahim Azar (Maronite) and Yousef al-Skeif (Greek-Catholic), managed to secure a seat.
Meanwhile, the FPM’s three candidates in Jezzine, Ziad Aswad and Amal Abou Zeid, (both Maronites), and Salim Khoury (Greek-Catholic) lost the battle.
What to expect
While we might know the names of the MPs of South I, there are still some unknowns that only the final results can clear up.
This is particularly true in relation to the number of votes received by the list of the Amal movement. This figure would be an important indicator of the mobilization (or demobilization) of the Shiite community support of these political groups in Jezzine (22 percent of voters).
The tally of Gebran Bassil’s FPM list will also allow us to gauge the decline in the popularity of the Aounist movement.
What to remember
While observers believed that the competition in Jezzine would mainly concern the FPM and the Amal movement, both parties ended up below the electoral threshold.
In the end, it was the Lebanese Forces that took everyone by surprise, winning two seats in the Christian-majority district, even though it had no 2018 parliamentary representation in the constituency.
The sanction vote against the FPM, the alliance with Fouad Siniora (via its candidate Yousef al-Nakib) and al-Jamaa al-Islamiya (the Islamic Group) in Saida surely helped Geagea’s party to achieve this electoral feat.
This article was originally published in French on L'Orient-Le Jour.
The South Lebanon I constituency, consisting of the city of Saida and Jezzine, has had the most surprises, as the two main political parties in the area, namely Amal and the Free Patriotic Movement, have both failed to reach the electoral threshold.The reshuffling of alliances in this electoral district, the only one without geographical contiguity, has completely changed the political...