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Majlis Al-Nuwwab (National Assembly)

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name (generic / translated) Majlis Al-Nuwwab / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) (from/to)29 May 2005
19 June 2005
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
Legislative elections for the 128 seats in the National Assembly were held in four stages.

The elections took place against a background of political upheaval, following the assassination on 14 February 2005 of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, who had recently joined opposition forces in calling for Syrian troops to leave Lebanon. Mr. Hariri's murder triggered widespread popular demonstrations and international pressure on Syria, leading to the withdrawal of Syrian troops on 26 April 2005, after a 29-year military presence.

Mr. Omar Karami, who had succeeded Mr. Hariri as prime minister, resigned on 28 February following protest rallies in the country. At the President's request, Mr. Karami tried to form a new government in March. Failing to do so, he again resigned, and was replaced on 16 April by Mr. Najib Mikati. The new government set 29 May as the starting date for elections after winning a vote of confidence in parliament on 27 April 2005.

As parliament was unable to pass a new electoral law, on 5 May President Emile Lahoud announced that the 2000 electoral law would be used in the 2005 elections. This law had been criticized for favoring pro-Syrian candidates, and some opposition groups feared that the old political forces would be returned to the parliament. Former prime minister Omar Karami and the Sunni Islamist movement, Jamaa Islamiya, called for a boycott of the polls in protest against application of the 2000 law.

A United Nations electoral assistance team provided technical assistance, while the European Union sent more than 100 observers. It was the first time that Lebanon had accepted foreign observers.

Voters went to the polls in Beirut on 29 May. The turnout in Beirut was about 28 per cent of 400,000 eligible voters, six points lower than that of the 2000 elections. Analysts believe that this low turnout was due to dissatisfaction with elections and the expectation of a clear great victory for the Future Movement. The elections went off in relative peace, except for small quarrels between supporters of rival parties. The Future Movement coalition (Martyr Rafik Hariri list), headed by Mr. Saad Hariri, son of the slain former prime minister, took all the 19 seats in the capital Beirut, including nine seats that were uncontested. In the previous elections in 2000, Rafik Hariri and his allies had won 18 of the Beirut seats.

On 5 June, 45 per cent of registered voters turned out at the polls in South Lebanon. Hezbollah and its allies, including Amal, the party of the outgoing speaker of parliament, Nabih Berri, won all 23 seats, including six uncontested ones, with more than 80 per cent of votes. The alliance, known for its anti-Israeli, pro-Syrian policies, had opposed United Nations Security Council resolution 1559 in 2004 which called for the withdrawal of all non-Lebanese forces and the disarmament of militias, explicitly referring to Hezbollah and Palestinian guerrillas.

The third phase of the election was held on 12 June for 58 seats in Mount Lebanon and Bekaa Valley. Turnout, recorded at about 50 per cent, was higher than in Beirut and South Lebanon. Candidates of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), backed by former army chief and interim Prime Minister Michel Aoun, won a total of 21 seats. Mr. Aoun, who had fought against Syria in the late 1980s, had returned to Lebanon on 7 May after 14 years in exile in France, and allied himself with pro-Syrian candidates. His victory dealt a blow to the anti-Syrian opposition, which wished to see the pro-Syrian President Lahoud removed from power. Mr. Hariri's group in this region was led by Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, one of the main anti-Syrian opposition leaders. He won a seat unopposed, and his candidates won all eight seats in Shouf, a predominantly Druze region and 11 seats in the Baabda-Aley district in closely contested ballots against candidates supported by Mr. Aoun. Six other Hariri-backed candidates won seats, making a total of 25 seats in this region. Hezbollah and its allies won a further 10 seats in the eastern Bekaa Valley.

The last phase of the election was held on 19 June in North Lebanon. Here 49 per cent of the 680,000 eligible voters turned out at the polls. Mr. Saad Hariri's coalition won all 28 seats in this region, increasing its tally to a clear majority of 72 and confirming the victory of the anti-Syrian opposition in the elections.

According to the Taif Agreement of 1989, the National Assembly must elect a Shiite speaker once the parliamentary elections have been completed. The post of president, which is also elected by the National Assembly, is reserved for Maronite Christians. The term of office of the incumbent President Emile Lahoud, originally set to end in late 2004, was extended for three years by a constitutional amendment. At its inaugural sitting on 28 June, the National Assembly reelected Mr. Nabih Berri as speaker for a fourth term. On 30 June, President Lahoud appointed former finance minister of the Sunni community, Mr. Fuad Saniora, as Prime Minister. He was supported by Mr. Hariri's coalition.
Voter turnout
Round no 1 (from/to)29 May 2005
19 June 2005
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
1'395'015 (46.47%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Martyr Rafik Hariri list
Amal - Hezbollah Alliance
Free Patriotic Movement
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Beirut South Lebanon Mount Lebanon & Beka North Lebanon
Martyr Rafik Hariri list 72 19 0 25 28
Amal - Hezbollah Alliance 33 0 23 10
Free Patriotic Movement 21 0 0 21
Others 2
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
- BBC News
- YALIBNAN: http://yalibnan.com/site/elections2005.php

Mr. Gibran Tueni, known as anti-Syria MP, was killed on 12 December 2005 in a car bomb attack in the capital Beirut.

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