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What next for Lebanon after Hezbollah loses its parliamentary majority?

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By Rhal Ssan
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Election posters in Beruit
Election posters in Beruit   -   Copyright  Nasser Nasser/AP

Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah and its allies lost their parliamentary majority after elections were held on Sunday. The coalition won 61 seats in the 128-member legislature, a drop of 10 members since the last vote was held four years ago.

Independents gained more than a dozen seats and were the big winners, along with the nationalist Christian Lebanese Forces party, which took votes away from its Christian rival, the Free Patriotic Movement founded by President Michel Aoun.

It’s the first election since an economic crisis devastated the country, with the economy contracting a staggering 58% since 2019.

Euronews spoke to Middle East expert Dr Chloe Kattar, a research fellow in history at the University of Cambridge. She put the economic crisis into perspective, saying “that what’s happening in the Lebanese crisis is the biggest destruction of wealth.. in the past 150 years”.

Along with the economic crisis, the country is struggling to afford its imports and is suffering the lingering effects of the Beruit port blast of 2020, which killed at least 218 people and left much of the capital devastated.

The process of forming a new government for the country will now take months, as there is no obvious majority in parliament.