In Lebanon, the Hezbollah resistance movement has solidified its presence as a major political force. On May 6, Lebanon held its first parliamentary elections in nine years. The vote had been delayed three times since 2009 due to the crisis in neighboring Syria as well as disagreement over the country’s new electoral law. Hezbollah together with allied groups and individuals have managed to secure at least 70 of the parliament’s 128 seats in the elections.
Press TV has talked to Hussain al-Mousawy, political commentator and journalist, as well as Geoffrey Alderman, Author, historian and political commentator, to get their opinion on the issue.
Mousawy believes the election results are a “major victory” for Hezbollah, adding that the Lebanese politics are going to be “pro-resistance” over the next four years.
“Now we can say very clearly that Hezbollah for the next four years will be protected on a domestic level concerning Lebanese politics and today Hezbollah can turn its back and know very well that it will not be stabbed in the back by MPs or this new shape of parliament,” he said.
The commentator also noted the election results have “annoyed” the United States and its regional allies –namely Saudi Arabia- which is why they have imposed new sanctions on Hezbollah leaders.
On Wednesday, the United States, in a joint action with its Persian Gulf Arab allies, imposed a new round of “terrorism-related” sanctions on Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and his deputy, Sheikh Naim Qassem, as well as three other officials with the movement.
A number of other individuals and firms, which are said to be affiliated with Hezbollah, were also hit with bans.
Unofficial results from Lebanon’s parliamentary elections show that the Hezbollah resistance movement and its political allies have secured more than half the seats.
Mousawy further emphasized that whether the United States likes it or not, Hezbollah’s representation is “legitimate,” arguing that if Washington tries to put pressure on the resistance movement, it proves that they are against democracy in the country.
Meanwhile, Geoffrey Alderman, the other panelist on the program, agreed that Hezbollah has been “democratically elected,” stressing that the election results were a “magnificent victory” for the resistance movement.
He also opined that the Western countries may “draw a distinction” between Hezbollah’s political and military wings, expressing doubt that somehow a dialogue will be “broken off.”
“At the end of the day, the business of diplomacy has to be done and whatever the rhetoric coming out of Washington may be, there is always a backstairs passage. That is how diplomacy is conducted and I imagine that will be true in this case as well,” he stated.
Mousawy further maintained that the United States is seeking to portray Hezbollah as a “terrorist group” in an attempt to “bring down Lebanon on its knees”.
He also predicted that the United States may try to “stir sectarian tension” in Lebanon after the election results, arguing that Washington has always been seeking to “cause havoc” in the country.