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Was Hezbollah really the winner of Lebanon’s elections?

Despite suggestions by the media, Hezbollah does not have the clear upper hand in Lebanon after the May 6 legislative elections.
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The prevailing assessment among Western media is that Iranian-backed Hezbollah emerged the winner from the Lebanese parliamentary elections held May 6. There are, however, nuances that should be taken into consideration when interpreting the electoral outcome.

First, as recent days have demonstrated, Hezbollah loyalists can resort to coercion at any time to intimidate rivals and remind those concerned that with or without elections, the movement controls the ground. As seen in the May 2008 clashes in Beirut between Hezbollah and p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Calibri; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} forces associated with the Future Movement, however, Hezbollah’s ability to thoroughly trample rivals is limited and comes with high risks. Foremost, an unstable Lebanon jeopardizes Hezbollah’s safety net at home, hence the goal of the Shiite armed group is to manage the political system rather than to subjugate it. The 2018 elections are not expected to alter these dynamics.

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