Sunday, May 06, 2018

Lebanese elections: preliminary reflections

In brief: a lousy electoral law.  A deformed application of proportional representation mixed with ranked-choice voting (the State of Maine is now experimenting with that) but the ranked-choice voting in Lebanon is done within the small electoral district so that it is really a sectarian preference vote.  From the early results and from people who know, this is clear: a huge win for Amal-Hizbullah (they may be the only ones who will get the whole list, 27 seats), while a loss for Hariri (Sunni opponents won in Tripoli, Biqa`, Sidon, and even Beirut ii district).  Lebanese Forces will expand their bloc while Phalanges will see their bloc shrink. Walid Jumblat is also a loser (in terms of shrinking of his list because he won't be able to select the Christian MPs in his district and the Syrian intelligence service won't help him like they did for years).  The electoral law was tailored for Jubran Basil to win his seat, and he will.

PS Hizbullah also benefited from establishing a broad multi-sectarian coalition. Thus, proportional representation was in his favor, and against the interest of Hariri (who most likely did not understand the new electoral law).