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Hezbollah/LebanonBack
[Published: Tuesday May 08 2018]
Hezbollah declares election 'victory' in Lebanon

BEIRUT 8 May (ANA) - Hezbollah's leader says the Iran-backed militant Shia group and its allies have achieved "victory" in Lebanon's first parliamentary elections since 2009.

Although the official results have not been announced, Hassan Nasrallah said their gains guaranteed the protection of the "resistance" against Israel.

Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri said his Western-backed Future Movement had lost a third of its seats.

Mr Hariri is still expected to be asked to form a new unity government.

But analysts said he would emerge a weaker figure, and be even less able to exert influence over Hezbollah than he was in the past.

A power-sharing system stipulates that the prime minister should be a Sunni Muslim, the speaker of parliament a Shia and the president a Maronite Christian.

In a televised address a day after the elections, Hassan Nasrallah declared what he called a "great political and moral victory for the resistance option that protects the sovereignty of the country".

He did not say how many seats his group and its allies had secured, but said the aim of their election campaign had been "achieved and accomplished".

Reuters news agency said a tally based on preliminary results showed Hezbollah and its allies had won at least 67 of the 128 seats in parliament. But the number of Hezbollah MPs was little changed at around 13.

Formed as a resistance movement during the Israeli occupation of Lebanon in the early 1980s, Hezbollah is today a political, military and social organisation that wields considerable power in the country.

It is designated a terrorist group by Western states and Israel, with which it fought a war in 2006, and several of its members are accused of being behind the 2005 assassination of Mr Hariri's father Rafik - himself a former Lebanese prime minister.(ANA)
FA/ANA/8 May 2018--------

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