By Ayoub Khaddaj
BEIRUT, May 17 (KUNA) -- Independent and opposition figures have occupied a significant number of parliamentary seat as a result of the nationwide elections, held in the shadow of multiple crises in the country.
A large number of advocates of "change" and activists from the civil society has succeeded in wining membership in the 128-seat parliament, reflecting dismay in a large segment of the society with performance of the "traditional" political parties that had dominated the assembly for many years.
The elections were held amid an unprecedented economic crisis in the country, marked with soaring inflation, unemployment and poverty with the national currency trading at around 25,000 per USD.
Official results of the election showed that the alliance, Hezbollah and Amal movement, got 28 seats, their ally the Patriotic Free Trend 17, their foe the Lebanese Forces 17, the Progressive Socialist Party with the Democratic Meeting nine, the Phalange Party four, Al-Marada two, Tashnaq two, the National Free Liberals one, the Islamic Grouping one and the Islamic Charity Projects party two.
The "forces of change" have succeeded in securing up to 14 seats and they may be able to form a bloc with the independent figures grouping up to 26 MPs, with high chances they may quite powerful in voting and decisions making in the assembly.
Up to eight women candidates won in the elections, while veteran politicians such as Elie Al-Firzli, Talal Areslan, Assad Herdan and Faisal Karami were unfortunate.
A large number of new candidates joined in the parliamentary contest in the recent polls, encouraged by mounting sentiments of dismay among the people against the "traditionalists," many of whom remained adamant on campaigning under political slogans, while majority of the Lebanese have been struggling to earn their daily bread. (end)