An Astute Glance at Critical Parliamentary Election of Lebanon
As you have read in news, parliamentary election is taking place in Lebanon on May 6. This is the first parliamentary election after 2009 which is going to be held with new laws, but why it is so crucial?
Islamic World News Analysis Group reports that it seems Lebanon is a rich and problem less country, which is partially correct but there are lots of political and social troubles in bride of Western Asia. One of these political problems is the parliamentary governing system which dominates everything from assigning the president and prime minister to legislation and vote of confidence among others. In another word the only opportunity that Lebanese are involved in the destiny of their country is parliamentary election but it is not very easy.
History of Parliamentary Election in Lebanon
Basically, election in Lebanon is an unreachable dream, since Lebanon is always engaged in civil or foreign wars and occasionally there is an opportunity to hold a political system but it is very rare. For example, after the election in 1972, the parliament was extended for 20 years due to civil wars and war with Israel. After the election in 1992 until 2005, election did not take place due to governing political situation. The only time that the election was held on its four years rendezvous was in 2009 but again in 2012 due to critical situation in Lebanon and Syria and domestic political conflicts between adherents and opponents of Syrian government, the election was postponed for another four years and in 2016, due to lack of president and political conflicts the parliament was extended temporarily. By assigning Michel Aoun as president in 2016, he chose 2018 as the election date but this election has several complexities.
Election Law, a Tumult Which Finished
A principal trouble in parliamentary election of Lebanon is the law of election. Based on the old law of election which was approved in 1960, Lebanon election is a majority election, which has a lot of drawbacks. The first drawback is dividing Lebanon into several election districts and hence conflict in Lebanon. The second is omitting the political minority, i.e., minor parties do not have any chance to enter the parliament. The third and the biggest drawback is the injustice inherited in it. For example, in a district if there are 10 seats to be occupied and one party wins 51% and the other 49%, the party with 2% more votes occupies all seats and 49% of people do not have any member of parliament. In this method, people elect individuals not the parties.
In 2017 a new law was approved which corrects the older law of election. According to the new law, there is more justice among parties. For example, if one party wins 60% of votes and the other 40%, they share the seats according to their votes and there is no absolute dominance of one party.
Map of Seats per each Districts According to the New Law
Situation of Moghawemat Movement in Different Districts
South of Lebanon
Hezbollah and Amal Movement are very active in south of Lebanon, the political alliance of Hezbollah and Amal Movement have the highest fans and with Nabih Berri, the head of Amal Movement as head of the joint list under the title hope and loyalty, nothing other than absolute win for this alliance is expected.
Alliance between Hezbollah and Amal Movement is Unbreakable and Unfilterable
Baalbek-Hermel District, Center of Saudi-Emirates Plot
Beqaa valley is a base of Hezbollah; however Amal Movement exist there too but people of Lebanon consider people of Beqaa in fight against Zionists in south of Lebanon as strategic army of Hezbollah in hard days. This has changed in recent years with the fight against extremist groups and the role of Beqaa as a base of Hezbollah in east of Lebanon has been emphasized more. But Beqaa in despite of their great sacrifice has a poor living condition and people of Beqaa do not have much role in the economy. This was a good reason for Saudi-UAE alliance to work on to destroy Hezbollah influence in this region. Even ambassadors of UAE and Saudi visiting Beqaa claimed that they aim to destroy Hezbollah in Beqaa.
On the other side Hassan Nasrallah, secretary of Hezbollah, said that we do not let those who betrayed people of the region when extremists were attacking every day to be representatives of Baalbek-Hermel district. Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah said that I will come and speak for people of Beqaa personally if necessary but answer of people of Beqaa was positive and it let head of Moghawemat to be assured that Baalbek-Hermel is a base for Hezbollah.
All of these signs show that in this region the majority of seats will be won by Hezbollah and a small of number of seats will be won by 14th March Movement close to Saudi-UAE alliance.
Beirut and North of Lebanon
In Beirut, Hezbollah has alliance with Free Patriotic Movement led by Michel Aoun president of Lebanon. This alliance has a high chance of win in Beirut since fans of Michel Aoun are increasing in recent years however due to unknown reasons the relation between Free Patriotic Movement and Amal Movement is not good. Although both are Hezbollah allies but verbal fight has increased between them and Hezbollah tried to be neutral in this conflict and fixes it after the election.
But in north of Lebanon, Hezbollah and Moghawemat Movement do not have direct activities, since the region is under influence of 14th March, but chance of Hezbollah to bring members of parliament via Free Patriotic Movement is high.
Hezbollah and Free Patriotic Movement Signed Their Alliance 12 Years Ago
Election in Lebanon has always a predictable result since the districts of influence of each side is known. From now the results can be guessed by 70% and say who stays in political system of Lebanon, but in the two districts of north and Baalbek-Hermel, we should wait and see who will be elected.