Independents rejoice as Hezbollah bloc loses majority in Lebanon parliament
Welcome to The New Arab's coverage of Lebanon's General Election 2022 held on May 15, 2022. Follow live updates, results, analyses, and opinion in our special hub here.
The group was ousted from its dominant position after Sunday's election delivered an upset victory to independent candidates and its political opponents, the Lebanese Forces.
Hezbollah's allies suffered losses across the board, with its Maronite partner, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), likely to lose its status as the biggest Christian bloc in parliament to the right-wing Lebanese Forces.
Independent candidates replaced Hezbollah allies in key seats, such as in the Bekaa II district, where long-time deputy speaker of the house Elie Ferzli was defeated by an independent candidate.
Independents also managed to snatch the seats of two pro-Hezbollah politicians in southern Lebanon, an area historically under the sway of the Iran-backed group.
In total, up to 16 independent and opposition candidates were elected to parliament. In the previous 2018 election, only one independent candidate was voted in.
Voter turnout in Sunday's election was low, coming in at just 41 percent, compared to 50 percent in 2018.
Analysts have suggested that voters disillusioned with Lebanon's establishment parties, in addition to a high voter turnout among Lebanese expatriates, led to the surge in support for independents.