Factbox-Who is running in Lebanon?

The vote comes amid a devastating economic collapse and a boycott of leading Sunni Muslim politician Saad al-Hariri.

While reform-minded independents hope to oust the ruling factions, established parties are expected to retain control.

Here are the main players:

HEZBALL

The heavily armed Shiite Muslim Hezbollah is the most powerful faction in Lebanon. Founded in 1982 by the Iranian Guard of Revolution, Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organization by Western countries, including the United States. The European Union classifies its military wing as terrorist, but not political.

Hezbollah’s military capabilities have increased since it entered the Syrian war to support President Bashar al-Assad. The group’s political influence in the country has also grown since 2018, when it and its allies won a majority in parliament.

His influence on public affairs has manifested itself in several ways, including control of the Ministry of Health, which has one of the largest state budgets, in 2018-21.

Mr Hariri explained his decision not to run in part with Iranian influence, citing Hezbollah, which has expanded Lebanon’s ties with the Arab Gulf states.

AMAL

The Shiite movement Amal is led by 84-year-old Nabih Berry, who has been speaker of parliament since 1992. Berry has been one of Lebanon’s most powerful figures since the 1975-90 civil war, in which Amal was one of the main fighters.

Known as the “Shiite duo”, Hezbollah and Amal have long moved at the same political pace, dominating Shiite politics.

Almost sees Hezbollah’s arsenal as an asset to Lebanon and has sided with the group in conflicts with Lebanese opponents seeking to disarm it.

Amal’s external ties with Syria and Iran reflect Hezbollah’s ties, although Hezbollah’s ties with the two countries are much deeper.

SLED

Hariri’s boycott overturned Sunni politics.

The Future Movement, founded by his father, assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, has dominated Sunni politics for decades.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati, another Sunni super heavyweight and billionaire, is also missing.

Some members of the Future left the party to survive.

The hawk against Hezbollah, Fouad al-Signora, a former prime minister and member of the Future, supports the candidates but does not run for office.

Hezbollah has many Sunni allies who could benefit from a split in Sunni politics. These include the Ahbash movement, which has historical ties to Damascus.

FREE PATRIOTIC MOVEMENT (FPM)

The FPM was founded by Maronite Christian politician Michel Aoun, a former army commander who headed one of the two rival governments in the final years of the Civil War and has been president since 2016.

The FPM has been the largest Christian bloc in parliament since Auna’s return from exile in 2005. He has been in alliance with Hezbollah since 2006, claiming that his weapons protect Lebanon. Critics say it has given Hezbollah a Christian political cover.

The FPM is headed by Auna’s son-in-law, Gebran Bassil. In 2020, Washington imposed sanctions on Basil, accusing him of corruption and helping Hezbollah destabilize Lebanon. Vasyl called the sanctions unfair and politically motivated.

Some analysts believe that the FPM may lose votes to its Christian rivals because of its prominent role in government before and during the financial collapse.

LEBANIAN FORCES (Florida)

FL, led by Maronite Christian Samir Gageje, emerged from the powerful militia of the Civil War. FL is one of Hezbollah’s brightest opponents.

The FL has been out of government since 2019, when then-Prime Minister Hariri resigned amid nationwide protests against the political elite.

The LF has close ties to Saudi Arabia and may benefit from the loss of FPM support.

He backed plans against Hezbollah in the south, usually as a stronghold of an Iranian-backed group, but candidates began to be removed from the lists as the vote approached.

Geagea led FL during the last years of the war after the assassination in 1982 of Bashir Zhmayel, its founder. Geajea is the only Lebanese leader to have been imprisoned for violence in the civil war. The others took advantage of the amnesty.

PROGRESSIVE SOCIALIST PARTY (PSP)

Led by the Jumblatt family, the PSP is the strongest faction of friends in Lebanon. Walid Jumblatt handed over the helm of the party to his son Teymour in 2018, but remains closely involved.

Jumblatt has criticized Hezbollah’s growing influence and arsenal, arguing that Lebanon has been torn from its natural place in the Arab world by criticizing Iran’s influence.

Jumblat, a major figure in the civil war, has good ties to Saudi Arabia.

The PSP is facing challenges from several Druze factions that have close ties to Hezbollah and the Syrian government, including Talal Arslan and Viam Wahhab.

MORADA MOVEMENT

Maradou is led by Christian Maronite Suleiman Frangieh, a close ally of Hezbollah and a friend of Syrian leader Assad. Franji is seen as a candidate to replace Aun as president later this year.

Marad’s support is concentrated in northern Lebanon, near Franji Zgarta’s ancestors.

KATAEB

Kataib is led by Christian Maronite politician Semi Zhmayel, who took over from his father, former President Amin Zhmayel.

Smael himself came to the fore after the assassination of his brother Pierre in 2006 during a wave of assassinations against opponents of Syrian influence in Lebanon. Kataib opposes Hezbollah and its weapons. Its deputies left parliament after the Beirut port bombing in 2020, and the party is trying to form a reformist coalition to run in the election.

OPPOSITION

A small number of parties opposing the traditional ruling elite are also running in the election. Some have already run, others are venturing into election policy for the first time.

Despite months of negotiations, various groups have failed to form a single electoral platform or coalition to present themselves at the national level.

Only one secular party, founded in 2016 by a former minister and known as the Citizens of the State, maintains lists under a single flag in several counties.

Others fiddled with lists at the level of each district. In some areas, several opposition coalitions are opposed, reducing their chances.

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