What to Watch for in Lebanon's Elections

May 5, 2018 | 13:33 GMT
In this photograph from Lebanon, a vendor sells national and party flags near Beirut on May 2, 2018, ahead of parliamentary elections.

A vendor sells national and party flags near Beirut on May 2, 2018. Lebanon is holding its first parliamentary elections in nine years and testing a new election law.

(JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

A crack of light may be starting to show through Lebanon's political stalemate. On May 6, voters go to the polls in the first parliamentary elections since 2009. The balloting will be a test of a 2017 electoral reform aimed at loosening the iron grip that sectarianism has had on the country since independence in 1943. The elections pit the March 8 movement, representing Hezbollah and Iran, against the March 14 movement, backed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France and, to a lesser extent, the United States. Both sides will be looking for an advantage under the new law, and the outside powers will be looking for a chance, however slim, to alter the balance of influence in Lebanon....

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