It was an uphill battle in the Mount Lebanon II constituency, or the Metn district (eight seats: four Maronites, two Greek Orthodox, one Greek Catholic, one Armenian Orthodox), and for good reason.
In this area, several Christian parties have a strong presence, including the Free Patriotic Movement, the Tashnag, the Kataeb, the Lebanese Forces and the Syrian Social National Party. The list led by former journalist Jad Ghosn also entered the fray, coming within a hair’s breadth of winning a seat.
• The Lebanese Forces (one seat in 2018) doubled their score: they elected Melhem Riachi to the Greek-Catholic seat, which they snatched from Edgar Maalouf, the incumbent FPM MP. His running-mate Razi al-Hajj won a Maronite seat, replacing Eddy Abi Lamaa in the new Parliament.
• Both Kataeb leader Samy Gemayel and his running mate Elias Hankach retained their two Maronite seats won in the 2018 elections.
• The FPM lost one of its three seats won in 2018, that of Eddy Maalouf. The party was, however, able to re-elect Ibrahim Kanaan to the Maronite seat and Elias Bou Saab to the Greek Orthodox seat.
• Unsurprisingly, Michel Elias Murr was elected to the second Greek Orthodox seat, two years after the death of his grandfather, the patriarch of Metn, Michel Murr.
• Tashnag, for which Metn is also a stronghold, only managed to retain the Armenian Orthodox seat of Hagop Pakradounian.
What to remember
• In their undisputed stronghold, the Kataeb have only held ground they won in 2018. This result seems to be the price of Samy Gemayel’s posture: despite presenting himself as an opponent of the current power, a large part of the protest movement rejects him.
• Through their anti-Hezbollah rhetoric, the LF succeeded in convincing a large part of the Christian electorate of Metn, to the FPM’s detriment, which continues to pay the price for its alliance with Hezbollah.
• Jad Ghosn’s list was less than 100 votes short of winning a seat. Ghosn had publicly blamed the delay in the tallying of votes in Metn on “bags of diaspora votes” in Baskinta village that were “ripped, unsealed and supposed to include 363 votes, but instead had 259.” Despite initial results Sunday showing that he had lost, Ghosn gained momentum as the expatriate votes were counted on Monday. The Baskinta votes in question were ultimately disqualified, but the final vote count saw Ghosn fall behind by 88 votes.
This article was originally published in French on L'Orient-Le Jour.
It was an uphill battle in the Mount Lebanon II constituency, or the Metn district (eight seats: four Maronites, two Greek Orthodox, one Greek Catholic, one Armenian Orthodox), and for good reason.In this area, several Christian parties have a strong presence, including the Free Patriotic Movement, the Tashnag, the Kataeb, the Lebanese Forces and the Syrian Social National Party. The list led by...