Turnout turnoff as Lebanese voters stay away from vote that changes little

Turnout turnoff as Lebanese voters stay away from vote that changes little
By Robert Hackwill
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Less than half the electorate voted in a poll that strengthens Hezbollah and pro-Iranian forces, and saw the return of major pro-Assad figures, but Prime Minister Hariri is expected to stay on.


The Lebanese stayed away in droves from the polls with less than half the electorate taking part, despite the fact there had been no election in nine years.

A resigned acceptance that nothing much would change appears to have dissuaded some, while others were uninspired by the campaign rhetoric. That left the field clear for the committed voters.

Human rights lawyer and lecturer at Holy Spirit University Marwan Maalouf analysed the results for euronews.

"The turnout was not as high as predicted and this is for two reasons; one is that a lot of people were disappointed by the political establishment and did not see any change, and were not attracted by the reformist speech by the establishment, so that's why the people who did go to the polls are partizans of those parties, and not floating voters. Most of them decided not to vote in the polls," he says.

" I think so far there is three women who won, or four. that remains to be decided. I think we will have the first veiled woman in parliament, she was a minister in the former government. Now definitely hezbollah and Amal secured their seats fully, there was no surprises in those districts, but the second surprise is so far the results from Beirut with Prime Minister Saad Hariri, not gaining from the other lists which were able to win a lot of seats, and it seems in Beirut district two Hariri will finish second, not first.

There is long-term figures in the Lebanese parliament who did not win a seat today and this was a surprise to many observers. So, despite the few changes the politcal scene and the division of power will stay the same despite the fact the Future Movement lost a number of seats and, as I mentioned to you, although Saad Hariri finished second in Beirut 2 and did not win but because of his alliance with the President Michel Aoun he will remain for sure the prime minister in the coming government."

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