Results of Sunday’s election leave parliament split into several camps raising prospects of political paralysis and tensions that could delay badly needed economic reforms.
Hezbollah and allies have lost the parliamentary majority they held since 2018 in Lebanon, according to a Reuters tally of official results, dealing a major blow to the group.
Hezbollah, the Shia Amal Movement, the Christian Free Patriotic Movement and a number of other MPs considered to support the group’s armed presence in the country now hold around 62 seats, compared to 71 in the outgoing parliament.
A source allied to the group confirmed the number to Reuters news agency.
Reformist candidates secured at least 13 seats in Lebanon’s new parliament, making unprecedented gains, according to results announced by the interior ministry on Tuesday.
The reformists, who campaigned on the legacy of a 2019 anti-establishment protest movement, could yet obtain the support of several other independent and non-aligned lawmakers in the 128-member assembly.
Hezbollah opponents including the Saudi-aligned Lebanese Forces – a Christian faction – gained ground, claiming to have overtaken the Hezbollah-allied Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) as Lebanon’s biggest single Christian party.
The results leave parliament split into several camps, none of which have a majority, raising the prospect of political paralysis and tensions that could delay badly needed reforms to steer Lebanon out of its economic collapse.
In one of many startling results, a political newcomer dislodged the Hezbollah-allied Druze politician Talal Arslan, heir to one of Lebanon’s oldest political dynasties.
Other prominent Hezbollah allies to lose seats included Sunni Muslim politician Faisal Karami, scion of another Lebanese political dynasty, the final results showed.
While the 2018 election pulled Lebanon closer into the orbit of Shia Muslim-led Iran, this result could open the way for Saudi Arabia to reassert influence in a country that has long been an arena of its regional rivalry with Tehran.
Lebanon’s elections: a short guide