The 2009 election results in Lebanon suggest that the pro Western government coalition has turned back an attempt by Hezbollah and its allies to seize control of the Lebanese Parliament. It had been feared that Hezbollah would win the election.
Voter turnout for the 2009 Lebanon election, according to the Washington Times, exceeded fifty percent, the highest since the start of the Lebanese Civil War of 1974-91. The high voter turnout was instrumental in defeating Hezbollah and allied candidates. The pro Western coalition is projected to win 68 seats in the new Lebanese Parliament, with 57 seats going to Hezbollah and its allies, and 3 seats going to independents.
The results of the 2009 Lebanon election are seen as a major defeat for Syria and Iran, which are sponsors of Hezbollah. Besides being a political party, Hezbollah is a terrorist organization which has not only fought against Israel, Lebanon’s neighbor to the south, but against the Lebanon government. Syria uses Hezbollah to attempt to exert its influence in Lebanon, now that the Syrian Army no longer occupies much of Lebanon. Hezbollah is also an instrument of Iran in its conflict with Israel.
The Lebanese Army appears to be taking measures to make sure that Hezbollah does not attempt to seize political power by force of arms that it failed to get at the ballot box. The defeat in the 2009 Lebanon election will have weakened Hezbollah’s, and hence Syria’s and Iran’s, influence in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East.
Had Hezbollah won the 2009 Lebanon election, Israel would have been faced with a second terrorist controlled state on its northern border, which along with Hamas-controlled Gaza would have been a source of instability and conflict. Israel fought an inconclusive war with Hezbollah a few years ago in an attempt to eradicate its influence on its northern border. Hezbollah, like Hamas to the south, has launched missiles and guerilla raids into Israel from time to time.
Hezbollah’s defeat in the 2009 Lebanon election does not mean that peace has suddenly come to Lebanon or the border with Israel. Hezbollah is still a potent military force, heavily under the influence of Syria and Iran, both regimes hostile to both Israel and the current Lebanese government. Thus the potential for Hezbollah to make mischief remains high and has to be factored in to any effort to finally bring peace to the Middle East and to suppress the various threats to peace in the region.
Source: Hezbollah loses Lebanon vote, Brooke Anderson, Washington Times, June 8th, 2009