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Lebanese elections: UN chief urges ‘swift formation’ of inclusive government

by May 18, 2022Arab News

Lebanese President Michel Aoun follows the parliamentary elections on screens from the Presidential Palace in Beirut. AP

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged Lebanon to form an “inclusive government” to tackle the country’s economic crisis, after the country held elections at the weekend.

As partial results announced by Lebanon’s Interior Ministry suggested allies of Hezbollah have lost seats in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, Mr Guterres said Lebanon’s political leaders must “work jointly with the best interest of Lebanon and the Lebanese people in mind.”

The UN chief “looks forward to the swift formation of an inclusive government that can finalise the agreement with the International Monetary Fund and accelerate the implementation of reforms necessary to set Lebanon on the path to recovery,” his office said on Monday.

He called on the country’s new parliament “to urgently adopt all legislation necessary to stabilise the economy and improve governance.”

Lebanon’s largest parliamentary bloc, led by the powerful pro-Iranian Hezbollah armed movement, appeared to have suffered a setback against the opposition and independents, partial results released on Monday showed.

Turnout was particularly low in areas mostly inhabited by Sunnis — one of the main communities in a country governed by a political system based on communal power-sharing.

Iran said on Monday it respected the votes cast by Lebanese people.

The Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah has worked hand in glove with Tehran across the Middle East since it was founded by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards in 1982.

With votes still being counted in Lebanon, final results are expected soon of the first election since the country’s devastating economic meltdown and a port explosion in 2020 that shattered the capital Beirut.

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