BEIRUT, Lebanon, May 20 (UPI) -- The June 7 parliamentary election in Lebanon will bring a new government to power in a close race where the emergence of independents may be telling.
There are a total of 587 candidates vying for 128 seats in the Lebanese Parliament. The political structure in Lebanon is such that the results are all but determined, with the March 8 slate, which includes Hezbollah, expecting a slim majority over the pro-Western March 14 coalition.
A review of the electoral scene by Gulf News suggests internal disputes among the two rival camps are partially responsible for the lack of a decisive winner.
Walid Jumblatt, the fiery leader of the March 14 affiliate Progressive Socialist Party, leaked a scandalous video in which he referred to the Maronite sect of Christians as a "bad breed," causing a modest backlash from March 14 constituents.
Meanwhile, voters expressed frustration over a decision by the Lebanese courts to acquit four generals suspected of ties to the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, whose son Saad leads the March 14 slate.
On the other hand, disputes between Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri of the opposition Amal Movement and Michel Aoun with the Free Patriotic Movement over power-sharing agreements in the south threatened to divide the major parties in the March 8 coalition.
Pollsters expect minor gains from both parties in a power structure where the emergence of independents may be more telling than gains from either March 14 or March 8, the report says.