Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon
Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon iStock

An electoral list backed by Hezbollah lost a seat in its south Lebanon stronghold to a candidate backed by opposition groups in parliamentary polls on Sunday, an opposition candidate and two Hezbollah officials told Reuters.

Two Hezbollah officials said Elias Jradi, an eye doctor running on the opposition-backed "Together Towards Change" list, won an Orthodox Christian seat previously held by Assaad Hardan of the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party, a close Hezbollah ally who has been an MP since 1992.

Jradi told Reuters his list had secured enough votes to win one seat, an opposition breakthrough in an area dominated by the Iran-backed group and its allies, but would not confirm it would go to him before results were finalized.

Hezbollah and its allies are expected to retain control of the remaining 10 seats in the district, the Hezbollah officials said.

Hezbollah, which has a strong political presence in Lebanon, is a major part of the cabinet. In the previous elections in 2019, the group and its allies gained more than half the seats of the 128-member Lebanese parliament.

In January, the head of Lebanon’s largest Christian party said that a 15-year-old alliance with Hezbollah was no longer working and must evolve.