The Stream

Lebanon: Do election results offer any hope for change?

On Thursday, May 26 at 19:30 GMT:
This week, Lebanon’s pro-Hezbollah political bloc lost their parliamentary majority in an election that also saw unprecedented wins by independent candidates inspired by the country’s 2019 protest movement.

Economic hardship appears to have driven many voters to cast ballots for reform-minded anti-establishment candidates. With many establishment politicians now out of the picture, it remains to be seen whether newly elected independents can effectively enact change in a nation plagued by economic collapse and political deadlock.

In October 2019, Lebanon’s economy collapsed into a financial crisis following years of government mismanagement, corruption and debt accumulation. Still reeling from a crashed currency and an inflation increase of more than 200%, about three-quarters of Lebanese are currently living in poverty.

What will it take to restore faith in Lebanon’s political system? In this election, monitors say they continued to witness widespread vote buying, voter intimidation, and tampering with ballot boxes.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll discuss the power shift in Lebanese politics and what could result from it.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Verena El Amil, @verenaelamil
Former parliamentary candidate, lawyer and activist

Habib Battah, @habib_b

Karim Merhej, @karim_merhej
Researcher and writer