(Bloomberg) — Lebanon’s pro-Western coalition defeated the Iran-backed Hezbollah bloc to win re-election in a vote that may help President Barack Obama reinvigorate peace efforts in the Middle East.
The governing alliance headed by Saad Hariri gained 71 seats in yesterday’s election to the 128-member parliament, according to official results announced by Interior Minister Ziad Baroud at a press conference in Beirut today. The Hezbollah-led grouping won 57 seats, he said.
Victory for Hariri’s coalition comes days after Obama’s June 4 visit to Cairo and his call for a “new beginning” between the U.S. and the Muslim world. Hezbollah has opposed American policy in the region, mocked Arab allies of the U.S. for failing to help the Palestinians, and resisted international efforts to disband its militia, which fought a monthlong war with Israel in 2006.
...also it would be interesting to see what our pal Ronald Bouwman would write! I'd also like to point out that I am glad Bush did the "Mission Accomplished!" thing. Had he not, I think it is safe to say we'd soon be seeing Hillary on a carrier in front of Beirut....imagine what fun (and rightly so, for once) the editorial staff would have with that!
Update 6-10 : Obama wins an election in the Middle East : Lebanon's voters gave the White House the victory it wanted -- with a lot of help from Hezbollah. By Juan Cole