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May 26th, 2009
04:33 PM ET

Why you should keep an eye on June 7

Hezbollah supporters at a Beirut rally holding a poster of leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Hezbollah supporters at a Beirut rally holding a poster of leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Joe Von kanel
CNN Writer/Editor

You may have noticed that Vice President Joe Biden was in Lebanon last Friday. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid a visit last month. What's the sudden attraction of going to Lebanon? An upcoming election there could be very interesting!

Lebanon's Parliament is up for grabs and unlike any legislative body in the U.S., all 128 seats in the Lebanese Parliament are determined by religion: Christians and Muslims each get 64 seats – exactly half. Since Christians haven't been united for centuries, various Christian denominations are guaranteed a certain number of seats. The largest single bloc, 34 seats, goes to the Maronite Christians.

Of course, Muslims aren't united either. The two major sects - the Sunni and Shia– get 27 seats each. Lebanon's Shiite political party Hezbollah - yes, the same Hezbollah that the U.S. has labeled a "terrorist organization - has brokered a coalition of Shiite parties that has thrown-in with the Maronite Christians. The groups are running on a "reform" agenda, promising to clean-up corruption. Guess who could win? And guess who the U.S. really doesn't want to win? The U.S. is backing a Sunni-dominated counter-alliance.

The election is on June 7th. We'll be watching!


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Global 360° • Hezbollah • Joe Biden
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. lisa

    two words... Holy War.

    May 26, 2009 at 8:09 pm |
  2. JRQ

    I had to read this over and over and now to my family. I don't get why I should care.
    My Mom who will turn 81 on June 7th says this kind of fear has been going on before she was born.

    Life will take care of itself. Don't worry so much unless they have oil. (smiles).

    May 26, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  3. Mari

    @ Annie Kate........ Well said. Agree 100%. It is the Lebanese choice!

    May 26, 2009 at 7:09 pm |
  4. Chochin Toton Follon Cricoide

    I agree with Waldo. I hope hezbolla dont win so we can help that country rebuild after the Palestinian flood they received since the 70's.

    May 26, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  5. Kathy

    Mike in NYC. Good point. Excellent idea. Fat chance.

    May 26, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    Good example of the old truism: Politics makes strange bedfellows. When you throw religion into the same mix you get even stranger bedfellows. Who knows – one of these coalitions may have the answers to peace in the MidEast – I have noted that down thru history the US usually backs the wrong side in another country. We should stay out of it and wait to see who the Lebanese people want and then work with them. It is their country and their choice.

    May 26, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  7. Kathy

    Great. A Catholic based Christian group allying themselves with Hezbollah. Great.

    May 26, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  8. RoseParvin

    It is outrageous that Hezbalah is the prrty of Shiate Islam for it is a more liberal dimension of Islam and someone powerful is trying to destroy Islam by connecting Shiates to Hezbalah and all the killings and a similing face on a flag or is that another part of propaganda against god for it does not make sense except if it is promoted by those who do not make sense they only make news and if it flies they will go with it and the world becomes more chaostic than it is!

    May 26, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  9. Lydia

    I had to read this several times to try to understand who's who & who's with who & then tried to figure out about God in all this and who's God is who's and why are sides being taken in the name of God anyway? Thank God, we live in a country founded on and proud of, our seperation of Church and State!

    May 26, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  10. Mike in NYC

    Biden basically tried to buy the election. I doubt he changed many minds.

    Interesting goings-on over there. The Lebanese have been busting Israeli-run spy networks. Interestingly, they were also making arrests for collaboration with the Israelis during the run-up to the 2006 war. In addition, Der Spiegel in Germany has made it all too obvious that it's a party to a black psy-op with its unsourced disclosure of "evidence" that Hezbollah assassinated the elder Hariri. There's a lot at stake here, and desperation is in the air.

    May 26, 2009 at 5:07 pm |