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February 19, 2021 | 67 Pages | English | Georgia Dagher
The 2018 Lebanese Parliamentary Elections: What Do the Numbers Say? North 2 Electoral District: Tripoli, Minnieh, and Dannieh

In the Lebanese parliamentary elections of 2018, the electoral district of North 2—which combined Tripoli, Minnieh, and Dannieh—saw a competitive race, with candidates from three electoral lists making it to parliament. Constituents were weakly mobilized in Tripoli, while they had much higher participation rates in Minnieh and Dannieh. However, in each district, there were variations across confessional groups: Sunni voters were significantly more likely to vote compared to others. Accordingly, within each of the minor districts, a higher share of Sunni voters was associated with higher turnout rates in a cadaster. In Tripoli, beyond the confessional composition of specific cadasters, voters in more homogeneous areas were significantly more likely to vote compared to those in more confessionally mixed areas. Three electoral lists won seats: One formed by the Future Movement, one formed by the Azm Movement, and one formed by Faisal Karami and independent candidates. The race was much more competitive in Tripoli, where the votes were highly contested between the Future Movement and Azm, followed by Dannieh, where the votes were contested between the Future Movement and Karami’s list, while Minnieh was less competitive, with the Future Movement winning the majority of votes. In Tripoli, where seats were reserved for multiple confessional groups, an overwhelming majority of voters cast their preferential vote for a candidate from their own sect. In addition, while all confessional groups cast a substantial share of their votes for Sunni candidates, Alawite candidates barely won any votes from nonAlawite voters, while Greek Orthodox and Maronite candidates barely won any votes from non-Christian voters. Even voters who voted for one of the anti-establishment lists showed a bias toward their coconfessional candidates. Apart from this, geographical variations existed in the performance of anti-establishment lists: Voters in cadasters with lower levels of sectarian homogeneity, higher levels of economic development, and lower poverty rates were more likely to vote for one of the independent lists. Finally, the results of the votes in North 2 point toward irregularities, particularly in Tripoli, that benefited candidates on Karami’s list and to some extent those on the Future Movement list. Both lists received significantly better results in polling stations that recorded very high turnouts, which could suggest voter or vote rigging. In addition, each of the lists’ number of votes across polling stations were distributed in an irregular, non-uniform pattern, which could also suggest vote rigging.

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