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Hezbollah falls short of majority

Fueled by American and Saudi money, Lebanese voters gave the parliamentary majority to Walid Jumblatt’s anti-Hezbollah bloc.

While nominally a victory for America, the vote actually marked a huge defeat. In only the second election following a major war in 2006, Hezbollah’s bloc retained almost 50 percent of the vote. With this dynamic, Hezbollah will form the government in the next elections. Nearly half of all Lebanese citizens showed strong support for the most aggressive policy, which will be spearheaded by Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has controlled the Lebanese government before and will push for veto power again.

The less-than-majority results benefit Hezbollah. Had it won, Hezbollah would have to moderate in order to conduct Lebanese foreign relations. Formally a minority bloc, Hezbollah can continue its aggressive course unconcerned with international reaction.

The Lebanese constitution prevented Hezbollah from running alone. The Lebanese parliament has quotas for religious groups, and Shiite Hezbollah needs Christian and Druze allies to fill the slots. Hezbollah won as much as it was allowed to win under the Lebanese constitution.

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