Lebanon is holding parliamentary elections for the first time since the collapse of the economy and the bombing of a Beirut port.
According to Arab media, most people say about the election that they want to give a blow to the rulers responsible for the economic crisis, but there is no possibility of any major change.
This first parliamentary election since 2018 is being seen as a test of whether the heavily armed Iranian-backed Hezbollah will be able to maintain its parliamentary majority in the country.
It should be noted that the country has been suffering from economic stagnation since the last Lebanese elections and the World Bank has blamed the crisis on the Lebanese ruling class.
On the other hand, analysts believe that public anger could help reformist candidates win some seats. But in Lebanon’s factional political system, there is little expectation of a major shift in the balance of power.
“Lebanon deserves better,” said Nabil Chaya, 57, voting with his father in Beirut.
“This (vote) is not my right, it is my duty. And I think that makes a difference. There is an awakening in the people. Isn’t it too late yet? But people think change is necessary. “
Fadi Ramzan, a 35-year-old first-time voter, said he wanted to “slap the political system” by electing an independent candidate.
Rana Gharib, a voter from southern Lebanon, the stronghold of the Shiite Hezbollah movement, said she had lost money in Lebanon’s economic crisis but was still voting for the group.
Rana Gharib, 30, who cast her ballot in the village of Yatar, blamed Hezbollah for driving the Israeli army out of southern Lebanon in 2000, saying “we vote for an ideology, not money.”
Polling for Lebanon’s parliamentary elections will continue until 7 pm and the results are expected to be announced at night.
Lebanon is facing its worst economic crisis since the civil war, which lasted from 1975 to 1990. Its currency has depreciated by more than 90 percent and nearly three-quarters of its population lives in poverty. Trapped in the swamp.
In the 2018 election, Hezbollah and its allies, including President Michael Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement, won 71 of the 128 seats in parliament.
These results brought Lebanon closer to Shiite-Muslim-led Iran, which undermined the influence of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia.
The recent uncertainty in Lebanon was exacerbated when Sunni leader Saad al-Hariri boycotted the election, leaving a void that both Hezbollah allies and opponents are now trying to fill.
As the election drew to a close, independent observers warned that candidates would buy votes through food packages and fuel vouchers issued to economically disadvantaged families.
Sources told Reuters that Prime Minister Najib Mikati, a tycoon serving in his third term as prime minister, could be nominated to form a new government.
On the other hand, Najib Mikati had said last week that he was ready to return as Prime Minister if he was convinced to form a cabinet soon.