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February 02, 2021 | 52 Pages | English | Georgia Dagher
The 2018 Lebanese Parliamentary Elections: What Do the Numbers Say? South 2 Electoral District: Sour and Zahrani

The Lebanese parliament agreed to hold parliamentary elections in 2018—nine years after the previous ones, and two mandate extensions later. While Lebanese citizens were finally given the opportunity to renew their political representation, voters in Sour and Zahrani reiterated their support for the same political parties: The Amal Movement and Hezbollah. The two parties, however, depended on their sectarian community, with Shia voters casting most of their votes for them, and turning out to vote in much higher numbers than other groups. The second and only other electoral list, which included a candidate backed by the Christian Free Patriotic Movement party, found its highest levels of support among the Christian community—which, in turn, was much less mobilized. Voters showed to be sectarian not only in their preferences for electoral lists, but also in their preferences for specific candidates: The vast majority of each of the represented sectarian groups—Shias and Greek Catholics—gave their preferential vote to a candidate of their same confession. Apart from voters’ preferences, there were signs of ballot stuffing pointing at candidates on the Amal and Hezbollah list. First, the list generally performed better in polling stations that recorded a lower share of invalid votes; and second, the list’s number of votes across polling stations were distributed in an irregular, non-uniform pattern—both things that do not normally occur in clean elections.

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