Lebanon: Anti-Syria opposition wins majority in parliament

Published June 20th, 2005 - 10:46 GMT

Saad Rafik Hariri's coalition tickets with Samir Geagea's Lebanese Forces grabbed all 28 parliamentary seats of north Lebanon in the fourth and final round of the nation's legislative elections, giving the national opposition front  a majority of 72 seats out of 128.

Ex-General Michel Aoun and his northern ally Suleiman Franjieh, a staunch ally of Syria, conceded defeat. Aoun said he would form the opposition in the parliament, along with his allies Michel Murr, the Tashnag Party and Zahleh's Elie Skaff. They hold 21 seats.


The remaining 35 seats were grabbed by the Shiite coalition of Hizbullah and Nabih Berri's Amal Movement. Berri is certain to retain the Speaker's post.


"We have harnessed Aoun's Tsunami-like phenomenon and cut the General down to size. We have rid Lebanon of a big lie called Aoun," said Druze leader, Walid Jumblat.


Aoun accused Saad Hariri of spending heavily to buy votes in the north, saying there is no room for any understanding with Saad's Tayyar Al Mustaqbal in the next parliament. "There is a confidence crisis between us. They don't trust me and I don't trust them," Aoun said. "What happened is that the Anjar whip has been replaced by the Hariri money." 

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