Voting split in Lebanon, but Hezbollah party remains strong

“I was promised money if I voted for it and they did not give me anything. “But you will see that my right will not be lost,” a woman shouts on the phone. This is how the election campaign started, asking for votes in exchange for rights, daily and basic needs: bread, medicine, money

Claudia Cavaliere



Beirut, Lebanon. With a historic low of 41 percent, the election to renew the 128-member Lebanese parliament on Sunday (May 15th), which has yet to be counted, shows an obvious disappointment from the elites and a new opening to the change. However, when asked what direction should be given to this wind of change from now on and after the last three years, people leave the polling station with their finger covered in ink – here it works that in every voter, after voting, are asked to sign and dip their finger in the blue ink as proof of voting – they answered differently depending on the area of ​​the city in which they were located, confirming the complexity of Lebanese society. “It is for the resistance”he felt in Dahyieh, the stronghold of Hezbollah in Beirut. “We must break the excessive force of Hezbollah in Lebanon, which will liberate us,” they replied. Lebanese forces in the Ashrafieh neighborhood. “There is no common plan between us that we are introduced to politics for the first time and it is normal for this to happen, we can not all want the same things. In the meantime, however, we are beginning to violate the predetermined political scheme. Then we will put the ideas into practice “, from the voice of one of the new independent candidates.

In the first elections after the demonstrations of October 17, 2019, the economic and banking crisis that prevented the Lebanese from accessing their savings for a long time, inflation above 200%, the explosion in the port of Beirut, the oil crisis, the medicines, passports and illegal immigration, about four million citizens have registered to vote, while 245 thousand were those of the so-called Lebanese diaspora. In Lebanon, in fact, something special is happening: compared to the six million people living in the country and the millions of Palestinians and Syrian refugees in the camps, about 14 million Lebanese live outside Lebanon between France, Australia, Brazil and Canada, to name a few. the largest communities. From the very first few screenings, the face of Lebanon does not seem to change: Hezbollah’s Shiite party remains strong, is the coalition of the previous parliament that presents some cracks, while the Christians of the Lebanese Forces have been strengthened especially after the suggestions of Saudi Arabia to support them in anti-Iranian operation and especially after the January decision of the former prime minister. Saad Hariri should not run for a seat in this election, fueling great uncertainty about the distribution of Sunni preferences in parliament. Speaking of which, note that Hariri’s fans in the Sunni neighborhood of Tarik Jdideh in Beirut organized a real election boycott, installing inflatable pools in the streets at parties between games and music.

In the capital, during the day there were clashes between the supporters of the various parties: in Zahlé in the Bekaa region on the border with Syria, in Tripoli in the north of the country, in Tire and in the southern suburbs, in Beirut itself. In front of a Sunni school, a woman with her finger covered in ink – a sign that she had already voted – shouted on the phone: “I was promised money if I voted for it and they did not give me anything. But you will see that my right will not be lost. “ This is how the election campaign started, asking for votes in exchange for rights, daily and basic needs: bread, medicine, money. In a family of four, four different preferences were expressed.

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