Beirut: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Monday he accepted the result of the country's parliamentary election in which a US-backed alliance defeated his group and its allies.
"We accept these results," Nasrallah said in a televised address.
Lebanon woke up to a cautious calm on Monday, following a long night of celebrations in many areas as the pro-Western March 14 bloc stunned their opponents with a sweeping election victory.
Many questions remain unanswered as to what happened on Sunday, as the Minister of Interior, Ziad Baroud, holds back-to-back press briefings to announce the official results, as they come.
The counting is still under way in some districts, especially in mainly Christian areas where the real battle was fought, like Metn and Zehle.
But the unofficial final results indicate the March 14 coalition, led by Sunni leader Sa'ad Hariri, has won 71 seats in the 128 seat parliament.
The opposition, led by Shiite group Hezbollah and Christian leader Michel Aoun, has won 57 seats, one seat less than what it had in the outgoing parliament.
"The Lebanese people have voted for democracy and freedom. There are no winners or losers in this election, the only winner is democracy and the biggest winner is Lebanon," Hariri said in a victory speech early on Monday in his Beirut palace.
The opposition, which was widely expected to win, conceded defeat and said it will "accept the will of the people".
But its key member Aoun remained silent. Some member of his block claimed the election was rigged and called for speedy investigation.
The biggest upset for the opposition was in their Christian stronghold Zehle, in the eastern Beqaa valley, which the Hariri camp won its seven seats.
"What happened is a farce. I have never seen such a disgraceful process," Aoun's ally, MP Hassan Yaqoub, who lost his seat in Zehle.
Today's newspapers said the Sunni votes clinched that district for March 14.
"The sectarian divide gives March 14 another majority," said a front page headline in the pro-opposition daily Al Akhbar. It said that 27,000 Sunni voters turned the results around in the district.
The opposition also lost a significant popular vote in such areas as Metn in the Christian northern mountains and the northern towns of Batroun and Koura.
The biggest loosers are key opposition figures like former Prime Minister Omar Karame in Tripoli, MP Osama Saad in Sidon, MP Elie Skaf in Zehle, Minister of Communications Jebran Basil in Batroun, and Deputy Prime Minister Essam Abu Jamra in Ashrafieh.
But in the south, Hezbollah and its Amal ally, led by speaker Nabih Berri, kept their grip on the region winning close to 90 per cent of the popular vote and all of its 23 seats.
With inputs from wires
Do you think the March 14 victory will bring stability to the country or create more conflict? Or will nothing change?
We all love lebanon and its people, Nassrullah is not the problem, the problems is israel, they cause all this misunderstandings, jus imagin if isralel is not existing do you thing the current problem or necessity of arms with Hezbolah will be existing?
Posted: June 09, 2009, 08:19
Change will come, but slowly. The whole point is the veto power. Will majority agree to hand out the veto power as before? Looks like Lebanese are back to square one.
Posted: June 09, 2009, 05:29