Hezbollah will seek greater control after 2022 elections

As Lebanon faces political, economic and social crisis, will Hezbollah grow its power or suffer in the polls in upcoming elections?

 POSTERS DEPICTING Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Syrian President Bashar Assad and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a village near the Lebanese-Syrian border. (photo credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS)
POSTERS DEPICTING Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Syrian President Bashar Assad and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a village near the Lebanese-Syrian border.
(photo credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS)

Hezbollah in Lebanon is looking forward to the 2022 elections there with concerns about its future role in the country. Will it grow its power or suffer in the polls? Hezbollah deputy secretary-general Naim Qassem discussed these issues according to a recent report in Iran’s Tasnim Media.  

Some articles think the March 2022 elections, or a postponed version of them in May, could mean a change in Lebanon. Lebanese citizens in the diaspora seek to take part in the vote.

Meanwhile the economy is in a shambles and people are fleeing the country. Hezbollah has held the presidency hostage in the past and has created a parallel state in the country.  

Qasim has admitted that Lebanon today is in a difficult condition. Hezbollah knows the country is facing a crisis in political, economic and social aspects.

 HEZBOLLAH MEMBERS hold flags marking Resistance and Liberation Day, in Kfar Kila near the Lebanese border with Israel in May. (credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS) HEZBOLLAH MEMBERS hold flags marking Resistance and Liberation Day, in Kfar Kila near the Lebanese border with Israel in May. (credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS)

“People feel that there is chaos at all levels of society, so if we want to get rid of this chaos and move towards a solution, we must recognize the problems and know their number,” the Hezbollah deputy leader said, according to Iranian media.  

"After all, we are facing a big problem today and the consequences are unusual," said the deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah in Lebanon. He notes that there is a failure at the judicial level and the parliamentary level. But how can this problem be solved?

“It is clear that this problem can be solved either through the judiciary or through parliament or the cabinet," he said. "These three institutions have solutions to solve this problem, so they must work together.” 

The Hezbollah deputy has said that "it is clear that the upcoming election battle is very hot. In the meantime, with international support and money from the United States and the Persian Gulf countries, the other side seeks to seize power in Lebanon and its parliament."

This means Hezbollah views the upcoming election as one where it is pitted against the US and countries in the Gulf. Saudi Arabia has traditionally supported adversaries to Hezbollah tied to the leading Sunni parties, such as Saad Hariri’s party and his allies.  

Hezbollah wonders about how it can use the elections to also pretend it is confronting Israel. The deputy leader asked about the other Lebanese parties: “Will they work for the liberation of Lebanon or are they in line with the Israeli occupation and the continuation of its threats - and do they want to take away the power of the resistance so that the Israelis and the Americans can do whatever they want in Lebanon?” 

The terror group now argues that the country has been ruined by those parties that supposedly worked with the US. "These people destroyed the country and now a group of civil society affiliated with the US embassy has been added to them…These are the people who have not been able to achieve their goals in the last two years due to the unrest and chaos in Lebanon.” 

Hezbollah’s increasing power in Lebanon has meant it faces more opposition. It has come under attacks in recent years as it seeks a greater stranglehold on the country. This illustrates how many groups chafe under Hezbollah’s strong hand and parallel state.