Lebanon Election Results Offer Some Relief, But No Major Changes

[Jerusalem Post] Jonathan Spyer - The pro-Western March 14 alliance won an unexpected victory in the parliamentary elections in Lebanon. The movement now controls around 71 seats. In the outgoing parliament, they controlled 70. The results represent a defeat for the party of former general Michel Aoun, whose Free Democratic Party is the Christian element in the Hizbullah-led March 8 bloc. The Sunnis and Druze overwhelmingly backed March 14, while the Shi'ites were almost exclusively aligned with March 8. Since most ethnic allegiances were clear and predictable, around 100 of the 128 seats were effectively allocated in advance. While the averting of an electoral victory for the pro-Iranian, pro-Syrian bloc is significant, it has no bearing on the wider issue of Hizbullah's possession of an independent military capacity, and its consequent ability to pursue an independent foreign and military policy. The results represent a continuation of the problematic pre-election reality, rather than any major transformation. The writer is a senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya.

2009-06-09 06:00:00

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