The May 15 Lebanese parliamentary elections were the first since the massive uprising in 2019, followed by the economic collapse. They were also the first since the explosion at a Beirut port that killed more than 215 people. Additionally, over 250,000 people have left the country of nearly 7 million in the past few years, marking its third historic migration wave.
Yet, despite all the outrage directed at the state, many voted for the traditional parties as a result of a deeply entrenched sectarian patronage system. With insurmountable odds against them, some opposition groups tried to capitalize in the moment of crisis, and 14 independent candidates were successfully elected.
May 15 presented a big test for the Lebanese.
This project transports readers into several polling booths on the day of the election, speaking with voters and politicians in the South II district as a microcosm for the larger battle.
In addition, I reported on the election’s aftermath, taking readers into refugee enclaves throughout the country, from Beddawi and other Palestinian refugee camps to informal Syrian settlements in the Bekka Valley, investigating how marginalized communities processed the results.