For the first time since 2009, Lebanese citizens are casting ballots in the May 6 parliamentary elections after lawmakers extended their term twice, citing political instability in the country.
Who is Taking Part?
More than 500 candidates are participating in Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Lebanon, where voters will decide on the future of all 128 seats in the country’s legislature.
Running in the elections are is a record number of women and non-party candidates, even though the lion’s share of seats is expected to be gained by representatives of the six main political parties.
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These include the Future Movement of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who currently heads the largest block in parliament, and the Free Patriotic Movement, founded by President Michel Aoun, which has the second largest bloc.
Other groups include the Shiite organizations Hezbollah and Amal, as well as the Progressive Socialist Party and the right-wing Christian party Lebanese Force.
Hezbollah’s Push for Election Win
The paramilitary and political Shiite movement Hezbollah, with Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah at the helm, is expected to expand its clout in the parliament; the party hopes to win at least 43 votes.
Calling for heavy voter turnout, Nasrallah said that “you should protect with your votes your victories and achievements, for which you’ve paid a very high price,” an apparent nod to Hezbollah…