A decisive election victory seems to be certain for Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Shiite party, alongside its political allies, in the Lebanese parliamentary election.
Sunday's election was the first time in nine years that Lebanese voters could vote for their representatives.
A coalition of Hezbollah and Amal, the two major Shiite parties, and the Free Patriotic Movement, the largest Christian party with various smaller allies, could potentially win more than half seats in the 128-seat Lebanese parliament, according to preliminary results from Lebanese Media this morning.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Future Saad Hariri's Future Movement, a party largely supported by Sunni Muslims and a strong opponent of Hezbollah, is likely to face a heavy blow to only 18 Sitting from 34.
The majority rule in the Lebanese parliament by Tehran's deputy political and military power center, which the US designates as a terrorist group, would lend more weight to Hezbollah's already tough stance against its enemy Israel in times of heightened regional tensions and during the White House a possible turnaround of the nuclear agreement with Iran.
President Donald Trump is a sharp critic of the international agreement aimed at restricting Iran's nuclear activity, calling for stricter measures and even threatening to pull the US out of the deal.
Israeli leaders responded negatively to the potential gain Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who is chirping this morning, "The State of Israel will not distinguish between the sovereign state of Lebanon and Hezbollah, and will regard Lebanon as responsible for any action from its territory."
Official results had been expected at dawn, but by noon there was no list of winners, possibly because of a new electoral system designed to slow down the counting process.
The new electoral procedures were also blamed for a relatively low turnout, which was around 49 per cent, down about 4 per cent from the last election almost a decade ago.