Official results in Lebanon: Coalition wins 71 seats in parliament, opposition grabs 57
The Saudi Arabia-bakced coalition maintained it majority with 71 seats in the 128-seat parliament as the Hizbullah-led opposition got 57 in Lebanon's parliamentary election held on Sunday.
Arab newspapers on Monday said elections dealt a huge blow to the Iran-Syria backed Hizbullah alliance. "They were broken ... Lebanon wins," read a headline in the pro-Saudi Asharq al-Awsat daily. "The majority is back," wrote al-Akhbar newspaper, which is close to Hizbullah. "The opposition suffered a great defeat."
Despite the defeat, Hizbullah MP Mohammed Raad warned the winning coalition that the Shiite group's arms were not a subject open to discussion. "The majority must commit not to question our role as a resistance party, the legitimacy of our weapons arsenal and the fact that Israel is an enemy state," Raad told AFP. He expressed his fear that the outcome of the election signaled further political problems. "The results indicate that the crisis will continue, unless the majority changes its attitude," said Raad.
Meanwhile, Syrian newspapers on Monday refused to accept the results, highlighting massive vote-buying and fraud deformed Lebanon's parliamentary election. The March 14 coalition "has been accused of having bought votes and using bribery," said Syria's ruling Al-Baath party daily, adding that "this could pave the way to large-scale falsification of the election."