Podcast: Be Careful — Assessing Lebanon’s Elections

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A Lebanese election official empties a ballot box in Beirut, May 6, 2018 (Mohamed Azakir/Reuters)

I spoke with Joanna Bostock of Austria’s Radio FM4 on Monday about Lebanon’s first Parliamentary elections in nine years, looking at the likely results and — more importantly — what happens both inside the country and in the region.

Listen at 13:23

In a discussion before the release of the official vote count, I took issue with the simplistic headline racing through the mainstream media of “Hezbollah and Allies Win Victory”. In Lebanon, there are few sure alliances, and any claim of a Hezbollah-led majority awaits weeks of maneuvers and coalition-building.

So likely outcome for the internal situation? “Cloudy yesterday, cloudy today, cloudy tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, there are the far-from-small matters of Lebanon possibly being pulled into confrontation over the Syrian civil war, including a fight between Israel, Iran, and Hezbollah — with the blowback destabilizing the fragile situation in Beirut.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

1 COMMENT

  1. Lebanon election: Hezbollah leader declares ‘victory’: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-44027973

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

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