Hezbollah, Allies Set to Be Largest Bloc in Lebanon

Supporters of Hezbollah tour the city of Nabatieh in southern Lebanon on May 6, 2018, as the country votes in its first parliamentary elections in nine years. (Photo: MAHMOUD ZAYYAT / AFP / Getty Images)
Supporters of Hezbollah tour the city of Nabatieh in southern Lebanon on May 6, 2018, as the country votes in its first parliamentary elections in nine years. (Photo: MAHMOUD ZAYYAT / AFP / Getty Images)

With the count well underway in Lebanon’s first parliamentary election in nine years, Hezbollah and its allies look set to form the largest bloc in the country’s parliament. Following the vote, Lebanese media reported the grouping would likely take more than half of the 128 seats.

With Hezbollah designated a terror organization by numerous countries, the only solace is that the pro-Western Mustaqbal is likely to be the single largest party when the final vote tally is announced.

Clarion’s Arab Affairs Analyst Ran Meir offers this analysis:

“Initial results suggest Hezbollah and its allies received many more votes than they have in the past. Why? In the past, Hezbollah had popularity issues because it was sending Lebanon’s children to die in Syria or in Iraq. But now with the Shiite crescent the largest it’s ever been, people see Hezbollah as part of something very big. They see it as the winning horse that maybe can deliver.”

A bi-partisan bill targeting the Iranian-backed Hezbollah was introduced to the U.S. Congress last week. The bill, dubbed the Disarm Hezbollah Act, calls for an investigation by the director of national intelligence to assess the group’s “capabilities, arsenal, and the illicit supply routes it uses to procure weapons.”

Hezbollah’s terror actions are not just restricted to the Middle East, but are also said to be planning attacks in the Americas. Two terrorists belonging to Hezbollah were arrested in 2017 for planning attacks in the U.S., with one scouting potential targets in New York including JFK International Airport.

 

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