Hezbollah not lose its influence in Lebanon due to defeat in elections

Politics Materials 8 June 2009 21:33 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 8 / Trend , U.Sadikhova /

Despite the defeat of the Lebanese opposition Hezbollah in the parliamentary elections, it would not affect the influence of Iran and Syria on the security and internal political relations in Lebanon, but the analysts consider it necessary to promote the national dialogue.

Hezbollah will retain the role of the strongest party of resistance in Lebanon, Neil Quilliam, a leading analyst on the Middle East security and policy at the British Control Risks Centre, told Trend by telephone from London. - The results of the elections will not weaken cooperation of Hezbollah with its main ally - Syria. "

Supported by the West, the ruling March 14 coalition won the Sunday's parliamentary elections in Lebanon, the head of Election Commission, Interior Minister of Lebanon Ziyad Baroud said to press conference in Beirut, RIA Novosti reported.

According to official final results, March 14 coalition, led by Sad, son of the ex-Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafik Hariri who was killed in February 2005, won 71 seats at the Parliament. The opposition March 8 bloc won 57 seats, of which 11 were retained by Hezbollah.

According to local observers, one of the reasons for the failure of the opposition is the concern of many Lebanese, particularly Christians, that the victory of Hezbollah in the elections could turn Lebanon into an Islamic state and increase the influence of Iran and Syria, whose troops had been located in the country for nearly 30 years. In this case, it would also be very likely to start a new war with Israel.

The United States also argued that in case of victory of Hezbollah in the elections, Washington will re-consider financial and military aid for Lebanon, provided after the withdrawal of Syrian troops in 2005.

MP from March 14 coalition Vail Yamin believes that Hezbollah lost this election because of the fact that it was based on the political program of heads of the Christian opposition, former president Michel Aun.

"However, March 14 calls upon all parties to enter into a coalition government, Yamin told Trend by telephone from Beirut. - But despite the agreement on political cooperation, we [March 14] will not allow the opposition to take control, which could lead to the domination of Syria and Iran. "

But Quilliam considers that military power of Hezbollah will not weaken because the party is still the main player in security in the region. 

Although Hezbollah is on the second plan in the foreign policy of Lebanon, the party has the right of veto in the Parliament and armament in the fight against Israel.

People in Lebanon consider that the recent elections will further deepen the political differences in the country, which have existed for 30 years, and the country will remain split into two political camps.

"The elections once again resulted in formation of a national parliament of split," the leading Lebanese newspaper As-Safir wrote, RIA Novosti reported.

The newspaper reported that now the main issue is whether quarrelling Lebanese politicians will be able to reach an agreement on forming a government of national unity, or the wave of political crisis and interconfessional violence will again cover the country.

But considering the agreement of Hezbollah to join the coalition government, a new civil war in Lebanon is unlikely.

Salem Zuheir, an analyst on the Lebanese politics, believes that if the ruling coalition and the opposition will be able to agree to begin a new dialogue, the new political confrontations can be avoided.
"It needs to clearly and equally distribute power in Lebanon," Salem Zuheir, head of Arab Orient Centre for Strategic and Civilisation Studies, told Trend by telephone from London. He considers that the parties in Lebanon were provided an opportunity to develop the Doha agreement, signed in May last year to end the political split in the country.

"The Doha agreement is gradual and is in need of constant development. If the ruling coalition [March 14] and the opposition [March 8] agree to expand the coalition government, it will be possible to withdraw the country from political crisis," he said.
However, Yamin believes that the clash of coalition-Hariri junior and leader of Hezbollah Nasrullah was prevented through intensified military control of the Lebanese government during the elections.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, who demonstrates a neutral stance, said that the government will crush anyone who provokes confrontations, whether it is opposition or the winning coalition.

But Zuheir added that as long as the ruling March 14 coalition, supported by the United States and France, will isolate Hezbollah from participating in domestic politics, the tensions and danger of a new civil war will continue.

The head of the Druze community Walid Dzhambulat said in an interview with Lebanese television channel El-BBC that "the isolation of opposition will be a deadly mistake, and the joint work and dialogue are important for the cessation of political chaos, RIA Novosti reported.

R.Hafizoglu (Baku) contributed to the article. 

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