The Lebanese people were able to elect a 128-member parliament, a dozen of whom are independent, as Reuters reported on Tuesday.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati met Wednesday in Beirut with Qatar’s envoy to the country, Ibrahim Al Sahlawi, following the Lebanese legislative elections.
According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar (MOFA), the Gulf state diplomat congratulated Mikati on the success of the elections, which took place on May 15 and were the first since 2018. Al Sahlawi also renewed Qatar’s support for the security and stability of the Lebanon.
“These are the results of democracy, and the State of Qatar has always kept an equal distance from all political parties in Lebanon,” the Gulf state official said, commenting on the election results, quoted by Beirut News Agency (NNA).
Lebanon’s latest elections come after the 2019 revolution, where protesters called on the ruling elite to stand down. In the absence of change, Lebanon has since experienced a continuous economic collapse, aggravated by the Beirut explosion in 2020 and the Covid-19 epidemic.
“I’ve tried to dismiss them before but this time it’s personal and we’re angry. We want justice. We can no longer stay silent and watch them lie to us, disrespect us and strip away dignity and dignity. pride of the Lebanese people,” said Rita Dahdah, a Lebanese working in Qatar. Doha News after polls opened in the country on May 6.
The country’s currency has lost 90% of its value to the US dollar since 2019 as people lack access to their savings at local banks. This is despite the billions in aid that were previously sent to Beirut.
Qatar had previously offered to provide assistance to Lebanon once it forms a government. The Gulf state was the first country to offer direct support to the Lebanese in the aftermath of the explosion, pledging more than $70 million in donations.
Three quarters of the Lebanese population have been pushed into poverty and live under inflation due to the economic situation.
With corruption affecting the country’s state and an absence of accountability for the explosion, the Lebanese saw the elections as their last hope for change. The Lebanese people were able to elect a parliament of 128 members, a dozen of which are independent as Reuters reported on Tuesday.
According to AlJazeera, the Shiite Hezbollah movement and its allies won 58 of the seats, up from 71 seats in the previous elections. A total of 65 seats is needed to obtain a majority.
Violence at the polls
Despite what appear to be more encouraging results, violence was observed during the elections. Cases of corruption and violence at polling stations in Lebanon were reported by the European Union Election Observation Mission.
“The campaign was dynamic, marred by various instances of intimidation, including outside and in polling stations and on social media, and instances of campaign obstruction. The online space has also been warped by the widespread manipulation of information,” he said on Tuesday.
Lebanese society is fragmented into Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Druze, Maronites and other Christian sects. A number of social segments had engaged in a bloody civil war in 1975 which lasted 15 years.
To this day, the Lebanese people believe that the war has left a lasting impact on the country, as several officials continue to be caught up in corruption, serving their own interests.
“The elections were overshadowed by widespread practices of vote-buying and clientelism, which distorted equal opportunities and seriously affected voters’ choice,” said György Hölvényi, chief observer for the UN mission. EU, in a press release. Press statement.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, previously called for the need to bridge the political divide in Lebanon.
“Unfortunately, the Lebanese people are under strong political pressure from their own political leaders. That’s what culminated at the end of the day with what we’ve seen now with these divisions,” Sheikh Mohammed said in an interview with Newsweek’s podcast, The Diplomat, in January.
Legislative elections take place every four years and election candidates come from opposing political parties and sects. A number of seats are assigned to each sect.