Divisive Camps Square Off in Lebanon Vote

One pushes liberal economy, the other Islamic militancy
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Apr 13, 2009 3:03 PM CDT
Youths on scooters, one holding the Lebanese flag, celebrate the election of a new Lebanese president last year. He praised Hezbollah's fight against Israel.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Hezbollah is inching towards greater control in Lebanon as the nation gears up for June’s parliamentary elections. The Shiite group, which favors spurning the West and resisting Israel with arms, is in a minority coalition, but winning a handful of seats could change that, GlobalPost reports. Its opposition, led by Sunni leader Saad al-Hariri, opposes arming Hezbollah and envisions an open-market, liberal society.

Lebanese voters are divisively split along sectarian and ideological lines. Though 700 candidates are vying for the 128 spots, the vote will come down to two dozen undecided districts—mostly Christian-dominated areas split between the two camps. The US has indicated that it will re-evaluate its billion-dollar aid package to Lebanon if militant Hezbollah takes control.