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POLITICS

In Baalbek-Hermel, Amal and Hezbollah did not take it all

A quick reading of the results in the Bekaa III constituency.

In Baalbek-Hermel, Amal and Hezbollah did not take it all

Lebanese Forces election posters in Beirut. (Photo: Joseph EID / AFP)

In the Bekaa III constituency (Baalbek-Hermel), the Lebanese Forces managed to keep their Maronite seat, which went to Antoine Habshi but lost a Sunni seat.

The nine other elected MPs came from the list led by Hezbollah and the Amal Movement.

In this area, the election took place against a backdrop of violence between supporters of both sides and flagrant violations of electoral rules.

The results

- Together with the Free Patriotic Movement and the Syrian Social National Party, the Shiite parties of Hezbollah and Amal presented a list that dominated its competitors, grabbing nine out of 10 seats: six Shiites (Jamil al-Sayyed, Hussein Hajj Hassan, Ghazi Zeaiter, Ali al-Miqdad, Ibrahim al-Moussawi and Ihab Hamadeh), one Greek-Catholic (Samer al-Tom, supported by the FPM) and two Sunnis (Yanal Salih and Melhem al-Hajiri).

- The only competing list that reached the electoral coefficient is the one supported by the LF and former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. While it managed to reelect Antoine Habshi to the Maronite seat, it lost the Sunni seat of outgoing Haririst MP Bakr Hujeiri.

What to expect next

We must wait for the official results to gauge the participation of Sunnis, who represent about 14 percent of voters in the constituency.

In 2018, they supported the list of the LF then allied with Saad Hariri’s Future Movement.

With Hariri’s withdrawal, a strong abstention of Sunni voters was expected. At the constituency level, the turnout was nearly 49 percent, a clear decline from 2018, when 60 percent of voters cast their ballots.

The abstention of Haririst voters could explain the loss of the LF’s Sunni seat, despite Siniora’s support.

What to remember

- Hezbollah’s goal was to regain its hegemony in the area, where the LF and Future Movement alliance made a breakthrough in 2018 by taking the Maronite seat and a Sunni seat.

- Hezbollah and Amal partially succeeded in their quest, failing to recover the Maronite seat, which went once again to Antoine Habschi, despite the pressure the Party of God exerted, causing two Shiite candidates on the LF list to bow out of the race.

- Incidents were also reported on voting day, with both parties accusing each other of provocation. There were also media reports that Christian party delegates were expelled from some polling stations. Hezbollah supporters were also said to have replaced some ballots at one polling station.

- The FPM has its first elected MP from the area in Samer al-Tom, who won the Greek-Catholic seat. Meanwhile, Raed Berro ran for the Shiite seat on the FPM list in Jbeil.

- Pro-Syrian regime incumbent MP Jamil Sayyed was re-elected with a preliminary tally of about 9,000 votes, compared to 33,223 voters he garnered back in 2018.

This was a blow for Sayyed, echoing the defeat of other pro-Syrian candidates like Elie Ferzli in Bekaa II and Assaad Hardan in South Lebanon III.

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


In the Bekaa III constituency (Baalbek-Hermel), the Lebanese Forces managed to keep their Maronite seat, which went to Antoine Habshi but lost a Sunni seat.The nine other elected MPs came from the list led by Hezbollah and the Amal Movement.In this area, the election took place against a backdrop of violence between supporters of both sides and flagrant violations of electoral rules.The results-...