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February 25, 2021 | 58 Pages | English | Georgia Dagher
The 2018 Lebanese Parliamentary Elections: What Do the Numbers Say? Mount Lebanon 1 Electoral District: Keserwan and Jbeil

In the Lebanese parliamentary elections of 2018, the electoral district of Mount Lebanon 1—which combined Keserwan and Jbeil—saw a competitive race, with candidates from three electoral lists making it to parliament. Constituents were highly mobilized, as Mount Lebanon 1 was the electoral district that saw the highest turnout rate across the country. There were some variations across confessional groups, with voters who had a stake in the elections results—Maronites and Shias—having much higher participation rates. The proportional representation electoral system created high levels of competition, as the Free Patriotic Movement and its affiliated candidates, which had won all the district’s seats in the previous election, experienced a drop in support. Although the party’s list won the plurality of the votes and seats, it lost two seats to the Lebanese Forces list, and two others to a list which included independent candidates and a candidate from the Kataeb. There were variations in support for the winning lists and candidates across confessional groups: The three winning lists received nearly all of the Maronite votes in both Keserwan and Jbeil, while Shia voters voted much more for a list which included a Hezbollah candidate. Maronite voters also voted much more for the winning candidates, while an overwhelming majority of Shia voters in Jbeil cast their preferential vote for the Hezbollah candidate, with a very low number voting for the Shia winner. Six women ran for elections in Mount Lebanon 1, five of them in Keserwan and one in Jbeil, and received a very low number of votes. While the share of votes they received did not significantly vary across voters’ gender, among those who voted for a list, women voters cast their preferential vote for a woman more often than men voters did. The fourth list that ran in Mount Lebanon 1 was Kulluna Watani, the coalition between emerging political actors. It won a low number of votes, and there were only minor variations in the support it received across confessional groups and genders. In Jbeil, Kulluna Watani voters had a high confessional bias: Nearly all Maronite voters who voted for a candidate in the list chose a Maronite candidate, and nearly all Shia voters chose the Shia candidate. Finally, the results in Mount Lebanon 1 suggest potential irregularities that benefited candidates on the Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese Forces lists—particularly in Jbeil, although there also were some irregular patterns in the votes for the latter list in Keserwan. In Jbeil, both lists received better results in some of the smallest polling stations, and in polling stations that recorded very high turnouts, which could suggest voter or vote rigging. In addition, the share of votes obtained by each of the two lists tended to decrease as the share of null votes in a polling station increased, which could also suggest vote rigging.

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