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January 18, 2021 | 52 Pages | English | Georgia Dagher
The 2018 Lebanese Parliamentary Elections:What Do the Numbers Say? Bekaa 3 Electoral District: Baalbek-Hermel

In the Lebanese 2018 parliamentary elections, the district of Baalbek-Hermel remained a stronghold of Hezbollah and Amal, however, the new proportional representation system led to some losses and allowed the Future Movement and the Lebanese Forces to enter parliament. Baalbek-Hermel was among the districts with the highest participation rates, which also varied across confessional groups, genders, and geographical areas within the district. First, the Shia community and women voters were the most likely to vote. Second, voters in cadasters with higher levels of sectarian homogeneity, lower levels of economic development, and higher poverty rates were generally more likely to vote.
Sectarian parties were highly successful at mobilizing their target communities, with the majority of each group voting for parties that have historically represented them. Moreover, the majority of voters, regardless of the specific party they showed support for, also cast their ballot for a co-sectarian candidate, as even independent candidates received their highest level of support from their co-sectarian voters. Among the few voters who did not cast a sectarian vote, Shias voted for non-Shia candidates on the Hezbollah and Amal list, Maronite and Greek Catholic voters voted for each other, but Sunni voters had a highly fragmented vote.
Apart from voters’ preferences, there were signs of voter and vote rigging pointing at candidates on the Hezbollah and Amal list. First, Hezbollah was more successful in smaller polling stations and those that had significantly high turnouts, which may suggest voter rigging. Second, the list generally performed better in polling stations that recorded a lower share of invalid votes, and its number of votes across polling stations were distributed in a non-uniform pattern, which may suggest vote rigging.

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