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Lebanese PM Hariri's Movement Wins 21 Seats at Parliament

Lebanese PM Hariri's Movement Wins 21 Seats at Parliament

Lebanese prime minister and candidate for the parliamentary election Saad Hariri shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote during the parliamentary election in Beirut, Lebanon, May 6, 2018.

On Sunday, Lebanon held its first general election since 2009.

Hezbollah, along with allied groups and individuals, secured at least 67 seats, according to a Reuters calculation based on preliminary results for almost all the seats obtained from politicians and campaigns and reported in Lebanese media.

Lebanon has long served as a battlefield for influence between Iran and Saudi Arabia, who have supported Shiite group Hezbollah and Sunni Muslim leader Hariri respectively, and their results will be closely monitored inside and outside of the country.

The unit of the current "Pro-Saudi" and "Pro-Western" Prime Minister Saad Hariri received only 21 seats (he had 33 seats).

"I extend my appreciation and gratitude to all who delivered on their duties", said Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, on Monday.

Lebanon is under pressure to prove to global donors and investors - who pledged more than $11 billion to Beirut last month - that it has a credible plan to reform its economy.

Raya added that holding this election will give hope to the institutions, thus alleviating the tensions among different parties. With the turnout figure on course to fall short of the 54 percent mark set in 2009, several senior political leaders to made televised appeals for an eleventh-hour rush to the ballot boxes. But many, including Machnouk, blamed the new, complex law which redrew constituency districts for the tepid turnout particularly in Beirut.

As Hariri entered a public school in Beirut to vote, a woman in a wheelchair complained that polling stations were not equipped for disabled voters. Officials said a slow voting process had prevented many from voting in time.

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As provisional estimates trickled in, some candidates' supporters started celebrating in the streets after a polling operation marred only by a few violations but no major incident.

The other heavyweight Christian party, Aoun's FPM, is projected to win 17 seats, which would make Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil an MP for the first time.

TRT World's Abubakr al Shamahi reports from Beirut.

Polling stations closed after 12 hours of voting that were marred only by minor incidents and were marked by what provisional estimates suggested was a low turnout. The interior minister said official results would be declared on Monday morning.

Sayyed was one of the most powerful men in Lebanon in the 15 years of Syrian domination that followed the 1975-90 civil war. Hariri is also a Western-backed candidate. A doctor turned warlord and then politician, Gagegea is now establishing himself as leader of an impressive parliamentary bloc that will undoubtedly challenge Hezbollah within the Chamber - regardless of who controls the absolute majority. The war has divided the country, pitting parties supporting the Iran-sponsored Hezbollah's intervention in Syria to aid President Bashar Assad against Saudi-aligned parties opposed to it. His father also previously served as prime minister.

"Lebanon is an independent country".

"The biggest swing vote will be President Aoun's group, which will move among the other blocs. If one is not running, his son or his grandson or even his brother is", he said.

"We can say that Lebanon now is giving itself a new image that democracy, freedom and also responsibility are possible in Arab countries", he said.


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