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Bilal El-Amine Reports on the Election in Lebanon, 2005

Bilal El-Amine
Date Published: 
May 21, 2005
    Bilal El-Amine is founder and former editor of Left Turn magazine. He recently returned to his native Lebanon.

    Bilal is writing a regular series of reports on the political situation in Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, and other countries in the Middle East.

    He can be contacted at zaloom33(at)

The Mehlis Countdown
September 23, 2005
It may sound from the venom directed at Syria that the Bush administration wants nothing short of toppling the Baath. But this seems unlikely if not impossible given the situation in Iraq.

Post-Election Update

Aoun Bares His Teeth
August 29, 2005
The first order of business of Lebanon's new prime minister within 24 hours of getting parliament's vote of confidence was a visit to Damascus. (more)

Lebanon Election Reports

Aoun and the Muslim Tsunami
June 28, 2005
The last round of the staggered Lebanese parliamentary elections ended with a bang last Sunday in the north of Lebanon. Most of the final results were predictable: the Harriri-Jumblatt alliance will control the majority in the new parliament with 72 members, the Shia Muslim bloc of Amal and Hizbullah got 35 seats, and the remaining 21 went to Michel Aoun and his allies. (more)

Resistance Sweeps the South
June 8, 2005
In an unprecedented show of solidarity, the south’s Shia—70% of the population here—came out in force to defy US (and, to many, also Israeli) demands to disarm the Hizbullah-led resistance that liberated them from more than two decades of Israeli military occupation. (more)

Hizbullah and the Beirut Poll
June 2, 2005
Many Lebanese are convinced Washington could care less about the fairness of the elections as long as they happen, so Bush can claim yet another victory for the march of freedom in Middle East after the invasion of Iraq. (more)

The Cedar’s Ashes
May 21, 2005
All eyes in Lebanon right now are on the parliamentary elections scheduled to start at the end of May and run for 3 weekends, ending sometime in mid-June. A lot has happened since they were declared, a period of dizzying flux followed immediately as each camp moved to claim its piece. Only recently has it become clear where things are going, who are the winners and losers, and why. And given Lebanon’s, lets say, diverse political landscape, it’s enough to make your head spin. (more)

Political and Historical Context

Independence in Lebanon?
from the July/August, 2005 issue of Left Turn magazine

The merry-go-around of Lebanese politics of changing loyalties and shifting alliances since the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Harriri on February 14, has finally arrived at its natural resting place: religious sectarianism, or "confessionalism," as it is referred to here. Millions protested in downtown Beirut calling for "freedom, sovereignty, and independence" and the mafia Syrian regime in control of Lebanon for nearly 30 years dramatically withdrew. Many optimistically predicted a new beginning for this divided land - a time of unity and prosperity. No more excuses about external forces meddling in our affairs, the Lebanese will finally control their own fate. But hardly had the dust settled in Martyrs Square where all religious sects united in protest, before the giddy Lebanese public found themselves where they were before their 15-year civil war started - Christians on one side and Muslims on the other...each sect in its own corner, ready to rumble. (more)