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Lebanon’s Opposition Prepares to Confront Amal, Hezbollah with Unified Lists

Lebanon’s Opposition Prepares to Confront Amal, Hezbollah with Unified Lists

Wednesday, 1 December, 2021 - 11:30
Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads a parliamentary session at UNESCO palace in Beirut, Lebanon September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Opposition groups have high hopes that the October 2019 uprising would achieve a breakthrough in the next year’s parliamentary elections.

Such breakthrough, which electoral experts expect in many constituencies, would constitute a major achievement in the strongholds of Hezbollah and the Amal movement.

The Bekaa third district, which includes six Shiite seats, South Lebanon’s third constituency, which has eight Shiite seats, and South Lebanon’s second constituency, which includes Tyre and Sidon villages with six Shiite seats, are the main strongholds of Hezbollah and Amal, which the opposition seeks to breach.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Human Rights Activist and Lawyer Wassef al-Harakeh said that the Shiite sect is part of the national fabric, “although it has a certain specificity that well-known political parties try to exploit to make it feel always targeted.”

“After all, it is not easy to make a change in a society that is greatly influenced by religious legacies,” he remarked.

Harakeh asserted, however, that people remain influenced by the possibility of change and are looking for salvation.

“Here comes the role of the opposition groups to put forward a real project that would change this status quo,” he underlined.

“We will fight the electoral battle in all areas and with unified lists in the regions where Hezbollah and Amal have a strong presence,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

A Shiite opposition figure, Ali al-Amin, agrees with Harakeh, saying Hezbollah has so far “succeeded in suppressing this situation.”

“Therefore, the elections will constitute a test, despite our belief that there are no free elections under Hezbollah’s arms,” Amin stated.

Al-Amin told Asharq Al-Awsat about “extensive contacts among all opposition groups to strengthen an electoral front in the face of the ruling system, especially the Shiite duo.”

He continued: “The ability to achieve a breakthrough is possible in more than one area, especially areas that Hezbollah does not fully control, such as Zahle and Jbeil. Some breaches can also be made in Baalbek-Hermel, and in the South.”

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