Hezbollah leader Nasrallah acknowledges loss of parliamentary majority in Lebanon

Vehicles pass billboards depicting Lebanese Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah ahead of legislative elections, in Beirut, Lebanon May 13, 2022. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

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BEIRUT, May 18 (Reuters) – The leader of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, has acknowledged his party and allies lost their parliamentary majority in the election, but said no group did. taken, in his first televised address since Sunday’s election.

“Unlike the situation in parliament in 2018, no political group can claim a majority,” he said.

Hezbollah and its allies won 62 seats in Sunday’s election, according to a Reuters tally, losing the majority they secured in 2018, when they and their allies won 71 seats.

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Hezbollah and its ally Amal retained all Shiite seats in parliament. But some of his oldest allies, including Sunni, Druze and Christian politicians, have lost theirs.

The elections saw gains by the anti-Hezbollah Lebanese Forces party and more than a dozen reform-minded newcomers, as well as a handful of independents.

The results mark a blow for Hezbollah, although Nasrallah declared the results “a very big victory”.

Nasrallah called for “cooperation” between political groups, including newcomers, saying the alternative would be “chaos and emptiness”.

The results left parliament divided into several camps, none of which has a majority, raising the prospect of political paralysis and tensions that could delay much-needed reforms to pull Lebanon out of economic collapse.

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Reporting by Laila Bassam and Timour Azhari; Written by Lina Najem; Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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