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'Hezbollah = Lebanon,' Israeli Minister Blasts on Twitter After Lebanese Elections

Lebanon celebrates its first parliamentary election on Sunday in nine years

Getting the new government in place quickly is important to reassure investors of Lebanon's economic stability. Longer term, it could affect Lebanon's chances of securing much-needed aid and loans from the United States and the worldwide community.

The highest voting turnout was in the second district in the north, and the lowest in Beirut's first district, with 31.5%, he said. Nasrallah said that he could not predict developments in the confrontation with Israel, but is confident that "we can't lose time" after winning the election.

"We were banking on a better result and a bigger bloc", he added however.

A Lebanese man showcases his ink-stained thumb after casting his vote in the first Lebanese parliamentary election in nine years, in the coastal city of Byblos, north of the capital Beirut.

According to the Lebanese Interior Ministry, the voter turnout was 49.2%.

Mohammed Ali, 30, riding his scooter to the beach, said he was not voting because there are no choices.

"Nothing will change. It is the same people with different names". We must settle our disagreements, even strategic ones.

On Monday evening, may 7, the Secretary-General of the Shiite "Party of Allah" (Hezbollah) Sayed Nasrallah announced a "political and moral victory" of his bloc in the parliamentary elections in Lebanon.

His remarks at a televised address came after early results recounted Hezbollah's landslide victory in the election.

Election law makes it illegal to publish forecasts of how the parties will perform before polls close.

In landmark elections held on Sunday, the first time in nearly a decade, all of Hezbollah's main allies made it into the chamber of deputies, dealing a heavy blow to the Saudi-backed Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.

The tiny state of Lebanon, which is half the size of Wales, finds itself in the middle of a regional battle between Iran and its arch foe, Saudi Arabia.

A new system of proportional representation was used in the election, but it is unlikely to upset the overall balance of power, as Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports from Beirut.

The elections were the first since war broke out in Syria in 2011, sending over 1 million refugees to Lebanon, a small country with a population estimated at around 4.5 million.

Turnout was 54% in the last election in 2009, he said.

The next Lebanon government, like the outgoing one, will likely be a unity government that incorporates Hariri's opponents from the Shiite Hezbollah group.

Mustapha Muzawwaq, 65, was sitting with neighbours in a side street drinking coffee.

"We love the resistance", Amira Sidani, 85, said after casting her ballot.

The late rally may lessen the spotlight on voter apathy, but the calls demonstrated the fears of politicians - be it Shia, Sunni Muslim, Christian or Druze - that voter numbers would fall embarrassingly short and open them up to losses against independent candidates.

Some 586 candidates, including 86 women, were running for the 128-seat parliament, which is equally divided between Muslims and Christians.

It is designated a terrorist group by Western states and Israel, with which it fought a war in 2006, and several of its members are accused of being behind the 2005 assassination of Mr Hariri's father Rafik - himself a former Lebanese prime minister.

Some acts of violence and intimidation connected to the election were reported in recent weeks. In other polling stations, the counting was already under way.

Abu Sami, 40, a civil servant, said he was exhausted of the established politicians.