US welcomes Lebanon elections, calls on politicians to ‘rescue’ the economy
While the final outcome has not been released, preliminary results show the Iran-backed Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, losing their outright majority in parliament.
The US said Monday that it welcomed the Lebanese elections, which were held on time “without major security incidents,” but called on Beirut to implement needed reforms.
“As we await official elections observers’ reports we encourage the country’s political leaders to recommit to passing and implementing necessary laws and reforms to rescue the economy,” the State Department said on Twitter.
Parliamentary elections were held across Lebanon on Sunday, one week after the Lebanese diaspora voted abroad.
While the final results have not been released, preliminary results show Iran-backed Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, losing their outright majority in the parliament.
The pro-Iran bloc will still be one of the leading powers inside Lebanon’s lawmaking chamber, but the Lebanese Forces appear to now be the largest Christian bloc.
Meanwhile, several new faces, including members of the civil society, broke into the ranks for the first time.
The first major task in front of the new parliament will be to elect a speaker ahead of October’s presidential election.
The World Bank has said that Lebanon’s financial crisis is one of the worst the world has seen in over 150 years.
And officials have yet to implement badly needed reforms to unlock economic aid from the international community, World Bank and IMF.
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