In the tortuous political set-up in Lebanon, the Hizbullah-led alliance came out on top with 68 seats out of 128 in the May 8 general elections. Seats are divided equally between Christians and Muslims, an arrangement imposed by the French colonialists, but Hizbullah’s allies still scored big.
Hizbullah itself secured 13 of the 30 seats reserved for Shi‘is; its ally Amal captured the other 17. Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyid Hasan Nasrullah said their gains guaranteed the protection of the “resistance” against Zionist Israel.
The political wing of the resistance movement is allied with the Christian Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) founded by President Michel Aoun. The FPM secured 28 seats.
The big loser was Prime Minister Sa‘d Hariri’s Western and Saudi-backed Future Movement that lost one-third of its seats and was reduced to 21 members in parliament.
Although he lost, Hariri would likely remain prime minister because of the convoluted political system imposed by the French colonialists according to which the prime minister must be a “Sunni” Muslim while the parliamentary speaker a “Shi‘i” Muslim.
Elections were due in 2013 but because of external manipulation by such players as the US, France, and Saudi Arabia, they were delayed due to political wrangling.
In a televised address after the elections, Sayyid Hasan Nasrullah declared a “great political and moral victory for the resistance option that protects the sovereignty of the country.”
By their vote, the people of Lebanon have reposed full confidence in the resistance.