BEIRUT — Following the announcement of the official results of the 2022 parliamentary elections Tuesday, speaker of the outgoing Parliament, and leader of the Amal Movement, Nabih Berri held a press conference during which he said that the election results should “be a point where we meet with inflammatory rhetoric aside, and let all the hotheads calm down. Everyone must be convinced that all Lebanese are children of one nation and must live together… No religious community wants to eliminate the other.”
Here’s what we know:
• In what is thought to be a smack at opposition groups who challenged Amal and Hezbollah in this election, Berri claimed that “Lebanon is the oldest democracy in history, but unfortunately some people on the inside live with a complex of not reaching national maturity.”
• Berri called on everyone to abide by “the choices of the people who have spoken in the south and the Bekaa in particular.” He listed a number of changes he believes ought to be made “for an electoral law outside sectarian restrictions,” including a “serious dialogue to establish a transition from a sectarian quota state to a civil one, and an expansion of administrative decentralization.”
• Amal won 15 seats in the newly elected Parliament. Unlike previous elections, Berri’s party and its allies, including Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement, failed to secure a parliamentary majority.
• Berri has been Parliament Speaker since 1992 and, even with a minority of seats in the legislature, it appears that he is likely to be re-elected to fill the position. According to the Taif Accord, the position of Speaker must be allotted to a Shiite; in the current Parliament, all freshman Shiite MPs are affiliated with Amal and Hezbollah.
• Speaking on election night, Lebanese Forces boss, Samir Geagea, a fierce rival of Hezbollah, told MTV that “electing the head of Parliament will not take place as it used to… We want a Parliament Speaker that stands for Lebanon.”
• Ending his speech, Berri said that the Hezbollah-Amal alliance affirms that “Lebanon's borders and its wealth in the sea are a sovereign cause, and [that] we do not accept bartering or bargaining.”