The Iranian-Lebanese-proxy Hezbollah declared the election results would guarantee the protection of, what they termed as “the resistance,” referring to the reason the Shi’ite Muslim militia was initially founded “a resistance movement against Israel.” Hezbollah, based on preliminary results, secured along with allied political groups and individuals at least 67 in the 128-seat parliament. Seats in the Lebanese parliament are divided according to a strict sectarian quota. The number of Hezbollah lawmakers was the same or little changed at around 13, but candidates supported by the group or allied to it made significant gains. “We can very surely say today, that the results of this parliamentary election, with regards to the resistance bloc, its allies and friends, we can say that the new composition of the parliament provides a safety guarantee and lends more power to protect this strategic choice,” Nasrallah said.
Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad al-Hariri’s Future Movement, which is backed by Saudi Arabia, won 21 seats in the election, down from 33 it won the last time Lebanon elected a parliament in 2009. Despite the losses, the result positions Hariri as the frontrunner to form the next government as the Sunni Muslim leader with the biggest bloc in parliament – a reality Prime Minister Hariri stressed “the international community should look at in a “very positive way.”
“We were betting on a better result. We were betting on a larger bloc with a better Christian and Shi’ite representation, true. The Future Movement were confronting all challenges. They were facing plans to exclude them from politics and representation, as an integral part of the political equation in this country. Today we face a new phase and new challenges. I am heading the Future Movement. I will continue to face the challenge on all fronts – whether political, nationalistic or economic. We have the support of a large population, which was witnessed by all Lebanese everywhere.” / “I think the international community always wanted an election, and we had an election. This is the result of the election. I think the results are in favour of Lebanon, a free Lebanon, of democracy, a free democracy in Lebanon. I think that Lebanon has shown the international community its resolve in dealing with refugee issues and everything. I think the international community should look at the results in a very positive way. This is the only way I can see it,” Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad al-Hariri said.
Lebanon is under pressure to prove to international donors and investors — who pledged more than 11 billion dollars to Beirut last month — that it has a credible plan to reform its economy. Holding elections was seen as a key part of this process. Nevertheless, turnout was lower than the last legislative elections in 2009, with only 49.2 percent partaking in the vote, down from 54 percent.