Podcast: Be Careful — Assessing Lebanon’s Elections

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.

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. 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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