North 3: What’s in the Ballot Box? Unpacking the 2018 Elections (EN&AR)
In the Lebanese parliamentary elections of 2018, the electoral district of North 3, which combined Batroun, Bcharre, Koura, and Zgharta, saw a competitive race, leading to more diverse representation— although Bcharre remained the Lebanese Forces’ stronghold, and Zgharta the Marada Movement’s. While participation rates varied across districts, one common trend was the higher mobilization of women voters, as well as the generally higher turnouts among Sunni and Shia voters, who were not represented by any seats. North 3 did not see significant variations in preferences for electoral lists across genders and confessional groups, although overall, Maronite voters tended to vote more for the Lebanese Forces and Kataeb list, Greek Orthodox voters for the Marada and Syrian Social Nationalist Party list, and Sunni voters for the Free Patriotic Movement and Independence Movement list. Similar to other districts, emerging political groups had limited success, and all women candidates, with the exception of winner Sethrida Geagea, were highly unsuccessful.
There were signs of irregularities in Batroun that benefited the Lebanese Forces and Kataeb list, and in Koura that benefited the Free Patriotic Movement and Independence Movement list. Irregular patterns were observed in the results: The Lebanese Forces and Kataeb list in Batroun, and the Free Patriotic Movement and Independence Movement list in Koura received better results in polling stations that recorded very high turnouts, and their number of votes across polling stations were distributed in a non-uniform manner—all of which are results that do not normally occur in clean elections.
former researcher at the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS)