Hezbollah and allies lose Lebanon vote


An anti-Syrian coalition defeated Hezbollah and its allies in Lebanon’s parliamentary election on Sunday, sources on both sides said.

“We have lost the election,” said a senior politician close to the alliance that includes Hezbollah and Christian leader Michel Aoun. “We accept the result as the will of the people.”

Christian politician Samir Geagea said he believed the anti-Syrian “March 14” coalition, to which his Lebanese Forces party belongs, had won, perhaps only by a narrow margin.

“In my opinion, yes, March 14 … will return as the majority,” Geagea told LBC television.

A source in the campaign of Saad al-Hariri, the coalition’s Sunni Muslim leader, predicted a clear victory, saying the bloc would win at least 68 seats in the 128-member assembly.

No official results have been announced.

If confirmed, the result would be seen as a blow to Syria and Iran, which support Hezbollah, and a boost to the United States, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which back Hariri’s alliance.

Interior Minister Ziad Baroud said after polls closed at 7 p.m. (12:00 p.m. EDT) that preliminary figures showed a turnout of more than 54 percent, a high figure for Lebanon, where hundreds of thousands of the 3.26 million eligible voters live abroad.

Reuters.com

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