Lebanon. At the May 6 parliamentary elections, the first in the country in nine years, the Shiite group received 70 of the Parliament’s 128 seats along with its allies. The Future Movement, which is Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s party, lost more than a third of its seats and 21 seats. Since the Lebanese constitution says that the Prime Minister’s post must be held by a Sunni Muslim, al-Hariri will remain. The turnout was lower than in the previous election, 47%. On May 24, al-Hariri was named the country’s prime minister for the third time. al-Hariri has been prime minister since December 2016 and held the post 2009-11. According to him, he has two important challenges ahead: the refugee crisis and keeping the country out of the conflicts in the region.
According to Countryaah.com, Beirut is the capital city of Lebanon, a country located in Western Asia. A record number of women were in the elections. Of 976 candidates, 111 were women, a sharp rise since the 2009 election, when only twelve women were candidates. Among the female candidates were prominent journalist Paula Yacoubian, activist Nayla Geagea and the lawyer and former presidential candidate Nadine Moussa.
Since the Shi’ite Iran-backed organization Hizbullah and its political allies got 70 of the seats in the parliamentary elections, in the future it will be possible to block all attempts to disarm the group, which is otherwise an important requirement of the political opponents.
In February, the country’s military council ordered to prevent Israel from building a border wall on what is claimed to be Lebanese territory. According to Israel, it is Israeli territory. The contradictions on land and water boundaries between the two countries have increased, and if the wall is erected, Lebanon will see it as aggression against the country. In the war between Israel and the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon in 2006, nearly 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 160 Israeli soldiers were killed.
At a donor conference in Paris in April, involving over 50 countries, over $ 10 billion in grants and loans were promised to Lebanon, which was hit hard financially by the protracted conflict in neighboring Syria. Lebanon now has over one million Syrian refugees. According to Prime Minister al-Hariri, the country’s economic growth has shrunk to less than 1% per annum, from a previously average GDP growth of 8%. In exchange for aid, Lebanon promised long-term economic reforms. The World Bank’s loan to the country is five years and has a repayment period of 20 years.
Already in early November, Hezbollah had withdrawn its ministers from the Lebanese government in protest over not increasing political influence, following the July attack on Israel’s attack on the country. Lebanon’s constitution states that the government must have representatives from all the major political and religious directions of the country, and the president therefore declared the government unconstitutional. However, Fouad Siniora refused to resign or form a new government, and Hezbollah and Christian Michel Aoun therefore conducted daily demonstrations demanding government resignation.
In May 2007, a 3-month armed struggle between the Fatah al Islam rebel group linked to a-Qaeda and the Lebanese army began. The fighting centered on the Palestinian refugee camp Nahr al Bared outside Tripoli. The fighting sent thousands of camp residents on the run, and it took the army 3 months to crush the small rebel group.
In October 2007, Émile Lahoud’s second presidential term ended, and a new president was to be found. It initiated ½ years of intense political conflict close to throwing the country into civil war. After Israel’s war against Lebanon in 2006, Hezbollah had been pushing hard to gain government power. The Western world, with the United States at the forefront, had just as fiercely pressed to prevent this. In May 2008, the government attempted to shut down Hezbollah’s communications network in Beirut. It triggered an immediate armed response from Hezbollah, taking control of western Beirut. The country was close to being thrown into civil war, but the government and the West had to acknowledge that it was not possible to push Hezbollah out on a siding. On May 21, all Lebanese parties signed an agreement to elect Chief of Staff Michel Suleiman as president, and at the same time form a national unity government. The opposition got 11 of the 30 posts in it, and thus also got the veto over the government’s decisions. Finally, adjustments were made to the Electoral Act of 1960. The agreement was negotiated in place with the Arab League as a mediator, led by Qatar’s foreign minister and emir as well as the league’s secretary general. Suleiman was deployed on the presidential post May 25. A few days later, Siniora was re-elected prime minister.
The global economic crisis that erupted in the fall of 2008 did not hit Lebanon. This was mainly due to the tight regulation of the Lebanese banking system. Lebanon therefore saw economic growth of 9% in 2009 and the highest number of tourists ever. The country’s tourism ministry expects the number of tourists to grow to 2.5 million. in 2010.
The June 2009 election was a victory for the Amal/ Hezbollah alliance, gaining 55.5% of the vote, while on March 14 the Alliance had to settle for 44.5%. Due. the Lebanese electoral system, however, lost 71 seats in parliament, while the winners had to settle for 57. President Suleiman, therefore, appointed Saad Hariri from March 14 the Alliance to form government. After five months of negotiations, a national unity government was formed in November with 15 members from the March 14 Alliance, 10 members from the March 8 Alliance (which got the 55% of the vote) and 5 appointed by the president. Saad Hariri is the son of the late Rafiq Hariri and is good for approx. $ 1.4 billion US $.