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March 8 Alliance

March 8 Alliance
تحالف 8 آذار
LeaderGebran Bassil
General SecretaryMohammad Raad
Founded8 March 2005; 19 years ago (8 March 2005)
IdeologyPro-Syria
Anti-Zionism
Factions
Arab socialism
Syrian nationalism
Lebanese nationalism
Arab nationalism
Shia Islamism
Baathism
Christian democracy
Social democracy
Pro-Iran
Political positionBig tent
Colors    Orange, white
Parliament of Lebanon
61 / 128
Cabinet of Lebanon
16 / 24

The March 8 Alliance (Arabic: تحالف 8 آذار, romanizedtaḥāluf 8 adhār) is a coalition of political parties and independents in Lebanon formed in 2005 that are united by their pro-Syrian[1] stance and their opposition to the former March 14 Alliance. It was the ruling coalition in Lebanon with the government headed by Prime Minister Najib Mikati from June 2011 until March 2013.[2] Main parties of the March 8 Alliance are part of the third Cabinet of Najib Mikati since 2021.[3]

History

The name dates back to 8 March 2005 when different parties called for a mass demonstration in downtown Beirut in response to the Cedar Revolution.[4] The demonstration thanked Syria for helping stop the Lebanese Civil War and the aid in stabilising Lebanon and supporting the Lebanese resistance to the Israeli occupation.[5] Free Patriotic Movement led by Michel Aoun eventually joined the rival March 8 Alliance, becoming one of its principal coalition partners.

Inclusion of Free Patriotic Movement

The Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) was the basis of the March 14 Alliance movement. FPM launched the Liberation War against the Syrian Army on 14 March 1989 and participated in all demonstrations against the Syrian occupation until the Cedar Revolution's mass demonstration on 14 March 2005.[6] The FPM split from the March 14 Alliance on 6 February 2006, when its leader Michel Aoun signed a memorandum of understanding with Hezbollah.[7] FPM considered its project against the Syrian government completed when the Syrian Army left Lebanon at the end of April 2005.[8]

Ruling Alliance (2011–2013)

The Progressive Socialist Party left the March 14 alliance in January 2011 after being one of its cornerstones and ostensibly aligned itself with the alliance's Change and Reform bloc after Walid Jumblatt visited Damascus. This move gave the alliance and its partners a majority in the parliament, enabling them to name Najib Mikati as prime minister to form the Lebanese government of June 2011.[9]

The government led by March 8 Alliance survived 22 months until Mikati's resignation on 23 March 2013.[10]

2016 presidential elections

After a presidential vacuum that lasted from 23 April 2014 until 31 October 2016, the Parliament was able to elect MP and former General Michel Aoun, who in turn nominated March 14 member Saad Hariri as Prime Minister.

2018 legislative elections

The alliance emerged victorious as they gathered 76 seats out of 128 (60%), in the first legislative elections since 2009.

Name Party/Bloc District Religion
Alain Aoun   Free Patriotic Movement Baabda Maronite
Hikmat Dib   Free Patriotic Movement Baabda Maronite
Roger Azar   Free Patriotic Movement Keserwan Maronite
Simon Abi Ramia   Free Patriotic Movement Byblos Maronite
Ibrahim Kanaan   Free Patriotic Movement Metn Maronite
Edgard Maalouf   Free Patriotic Movement Metn Greek Catholic
Elias Bou Saab   Free Patriotic Movement Metn Greek Orthodox
Hagop Pakradounian   Tashnaq Metn Armenian Orthodox
Talal Arslan   Lebanese Democratic Party Aley Druze
Cesar Abi Khalil   Free Patriotic Movement Aley Maronite
Ziad Assouad   Free Patriotic Movement Jezzine Maronite
Salim Khoury   Free Patriotic Movement Jezzine Greek Catholic
Assaad Dargham   Free Patriotic Movement Akkar Greek Orthodox
Mustapha Ali Hussein   Independent Akkar Alawite
Georges Atallah   Free Patriotic Movement Koura Greek Orthodox
Gebran Bassil   Free Patriotic Movement Batroun Maronite
Mario Aoun   Free Patriotic Movement Chouf Maronite
Farid Boustany   Free Patriotic Movement Chouf Maronite
Nicolas Sehnaoui   Free Patriotic Movement Beirut I Greek Catholic
Antoine Pano   Free Patriotic Movement Beirut I Christian Minorities
Alexander Matossian   Tashnaq Beirut I Armenian Orthodox
Hagop Terzian   Tashnaq Beirut I Armenian Orthodox
Edgard Traboulsi   Free Patriotic Movement Beirut II Protestant
Salim Aoun   Free Patriotic Movement Zahle Maronite
Michel Daher   Independent Zahle Greek Catholic
Elie Ferzli   Independent West Bekaa Greek Orthodox
Ali Ammar   Hezbollah Baabda Shia
Amin Sharri   Hezbollah Beirut II Shia
Nawwaf Musawi   Hezbollah Tyre/Zahrani Shia
Hussein Jashi   Hezbollah Tyre/Zahrani Shia
Hassan Fadlallah   Hezbollah Bint Jbeil Shia
Mohammad Raad   Hezbollah Nabatieh Shia
Ali Fayyad   Hezbollah Hasbaya/Marjeyoun Shia
Anwar Jomma   Hezbollah Zahle Shia
Hussein el Hage Hassan   Hezbollah Baalbeck/Hermil Shia
Ibrahim Mousawi   Hezbollah Baalbeck/Hermil Shia
Ali Mekdad   Hezbollah Baalbeck/Hermil Shia
Elwalid Succariyeh   Hezbollah Baalbeck/Hermil Sunni
Ihab Hamadeh   Hezbollah Baalbeck/Hermil Shia
Mohamed Khawaja   Amal Movement Beirut II Shia
Fadi Alameh   Amal Movement Baabda Shia
Nabih Berri   Amal Movement Zahrani Shia
Ali Osseiran   Amal Movement Zahrani Shia
Michel Moussa   Amal Movement Zahrani Greek Catholic
Ali Khreis   Amal Movement Tyr Shia
Inaya Ezzeddine   Amal Movement Tyr Shia
Yassine Jaber   Amal Movement Nabatieh Shia
Kassem Hachem   Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party Marjeyoun Hasbaya Sunni
Hani Kobeissi   Amal Movement Nabatieh Shia
Ali Bazzi   Amal Movement Bint Jbeil Shia
Ayoub Hmayed   Amal Movement Bint Jbeil Shia
Ali Hassan Khalil   Amal Movement Marjeyoun Hasbaya Shia
Anwar Khalil   Amal Movement Marjeyoun Hasbaya Druze
Mohamed Nasrallah   Amal Movement West Bekaa Rashaya Shia
Ghazi Zaiter   Amal Movement Baalbeck Hermel Shia
Salim Saadeh   Syrian Social Nationalist Party in Lebanon Koura Greek Orthodox
Assaad Hardan   Syrian Social Nationalist Party in Lebanon Marjeyoun Hasbaya Greek Orthodox
Albert Mansour   Syrian Social Nationalist Party in Lebanon Baalbeck Hermel Greek Catholic
Tony Frangieh   Marada Movement Zgharta Maronite
Estephan Douaihy   Marada Movement Zgharta Maronite
Fayez Ghosn   Marada Movement Koura Greek Orthodox
Ossama Saad   Popular Nasserist Organization Saida Sunni
Adnan Traboulsi   Al-Ahbash Beirut II Sunni
Abdul Rahim Mrad   Union Party West Bekaa Rashaya Sunni
Faisal Karami   Arab Liberation Party Tripoli Sunni

2019 cabinet

The Alliance had 18 out of 30 ministers (60%) in the Lebanese Cabinet; it was equally represented in both parliament and cabinet.

Name Party Portfolio (Ministry) Religion
Elias Bou Saab   Free Patriotic Movement Minister of Defense Greek Orthodox
Gebran Bassil   Free Patriotic Movement Minister of Exterior and Expatriates Maronite
Saleh Gharib   Lebanese Democratic Party State Minister for Refugees Affairs Druze
Ghassan Atallah   Free Patriotic Movement Minister of Displaced Greek Catholic
Nada Boustani   Free Patriotic Movement Minister of Energy and Water Maronite
Avedis Guidanian   Tashnag Minister of Tourism Armenian Orthodox
Hassan Mrad   Union Party State Minister for Foreign Trade Sunni
Albert Serhan   Free Patriotic Movement Minister of Justice Greek Orthodox
Salim Jreissati   Free Patriotic Movement State Minister for Presidential Affairs Greek Catholic
Mansour Bteich   Free Patriotic Movement Minister of Economy and Trade Maronite
Fadi Jreissati   Free Patriotic Movement Minister of Environment Greek Catholic
Youssef Finianos   Marada Movement Minister of Public Works and Transport Maronite
Ali Hassan Khalil   Amal Movement Minister of Finance Shia
Muhammad Daoud   Amal Movement Minister of Culture Shia
Hassan Lakkis   Amal Movement Minister of Agriculture Shia
Jamil Jabak   Independent Minister of Public Health Shia
Muhammad Fneish   Hezbollah Minister of Youth and Sports Shia
Mahmoud Kmati   Hezbollah State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shia

September 2021 Cabinet

The Alliance has 16 out of 24 ministers (66%) in the current Lebanese Cabinet; it is equally represented in both parliament and cabinet.

Portfolio name party Religious
Deputy Prime Minister Saadeh Al Shami   Syrian Social Nationalist Party Greek Orthodox
Telecommunications Johnny Corm   Marada Movement Maronite
Information George Kurdahi (resigned)   Marada Movement Maronite
Ziad Makary   Marada Movement Maronite
Defense Maurice Slim   Free Patriotic Movement Greek Orthodox
Tourism Walid Nassar   Free Patriotic Movement Maronite
Social Affairs Hector Hajjar   Free Patriotic Movement Greek Catholic
Energy and Water Walid Fayad   Free Patriotic Movement Greek Orthodox
Justice Henry Khoury   Free Patriotic Movement Maronite
Foreign Affairs Abdallah Bou Habib   Free Patriotic Movement Maronite
Displaced Issam Charafeddine   Lebanese Democratic Party Druze
Labor Moustafa Bayram   Amal Movement Shia
Finance Youssef Khalil   Amal Movement Shia
Agriculture Abbas Al Haj Hassan   Amal Movement Shia
Public Works Ali Hamiyeh   Hezbollah Shia
Culture Mohammad Mortada   Hezbollah Shia
Industry George Bojikan   Tashnag Armenian Orthodox

2022 legislative elections

The alliance gathered 61 seats out of 128 (47%) and lost their parliamentary majority but still won the Parliament speaker election.[11]

The 2022 Strong Lebanon bloc was formed by FPM (17), Tashnaq (3) and Akkar MP Mohamad Yehya.[12]

The March 8 Alliance Today

Since 2020, the governance of Lebanon has been led by the March 8 alliance, with notable economic changes observed during this period. Lebanon's GDP experienced a significant decline, dropping from 51.8 billion in 2019 to 23.13 billion in 2023.[13]

Constituent parties

It currently holds 61 of 128 seats in the parliament after the 2022 elections and consists of:[14][15]

Party Arabic name Ideology Parliament of Lebanon Government
Free Patriotic Movement التيار الوطني الحر Civic nationalism
Lebanese nationalism
17 / 128
government
Amal Movement حركة أمل Conservatism
Populism
15 / 128
government
Hezbollah حزب الله Shia Islamism
Anti-Zionism
15 / 128
government
Armenian Revolutionary Federation الإتحاد الثوري الأرمني - الطاشناق Armenian nationalism
Democratic socialism
3 / 128
government
Marada Movement تيار المردة Lebanese nationalism
Christian democracy
2 / 128
government
Islamic Charitable Projects Association جمعية المشاريع الخيرية الإسلامية Religious pluralism

Islamic neo-traditionalism

Anti-Salafism

2 / 128
not in government
Popular Nasserist Organization التنظيم الشعبي الناصري Nasserism
Arab Nationalism
1 / 128
not in government
Union Party حزب الإتحاد Nasserism
1 / 128
not in government
Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي في لبنان Ba'athism
1 / 128
not in government
Dignity Movement حزب التحرر العربي Arab nationalism
Anti-Zionism
1 / 128
not in government
Syrian Social Nationalist Party الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي Syrian nationalism
Social nationalism
0 / 128
government
Lebanese Democratic Party الحزب الديمقراطي اللبناني Conservatism
Druze politics
0 / 128
not in government
Arab Democratic Party االحزب العربي الديمقراطي Arab nationalism
Ba'athism
0 / 128
not in government
Toiler's League رابطة الشغيلة Pan-Arabism
Marxism–Leninism
0 / 128
not in government
People's Movement حركة الشعب Left-wing populism
Arab Nationalism
0 / 128
not in government
Arab Unification Party حزب التوحيد العربي Arab Nationalism
0 / 128
not in government
Al-Mourabitoun حركة الناصريين المستقلين-المرابطون Arab Nationalism
Arab socialism
Nasserism
Pan-Arabism
0 / 128
not in government
Solidarity Party حزب التضامن Liberalism
0 / 128
not in government
Nasserist Unionists Movement حركة الوحدويين الناصريين Nasserism
0 / 128
not in government

References

  1. ^ Daoud, David (January 12, 2017). "Hezbollah's Latest Conquest: Lebanon's Cabinet". Newsweek.
  2. ^ March 8 finished, Aoun out in the cold Archived November 16, 2017, at the Wayback Machine The Daily Star 10 July 2013
  3. ^ Cornet, Wassim (May 17, 2022). "Lebanon's Hezbollah, allies lose parliament majority in elections". France 24. Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  4. ^ "Hezbollah rallies Lebanese to support Syria". CNN. March 9, 2005. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  5. ^ Fattah, Hassan M. (March 8, 2005). "Hezbollah Leads Huge Pro-Syrian Protest in Central Beirut". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Lebanon.com Newswire - Local News August 7 2001". www.lebanon.com. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  7. ^ "Lebanese Christians shocked over Shia politics but this could be just the beginning | Ali al-Amin". AW. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  8. ^ Rudy Jaafar and Maria J. Stephan, "Lebanon's Independence Intifada: How an Unarmed Insurrection Expelled Syrian Forces", in Maria J. Stephan (ed.), Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization, and Governance in the Middle East, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2009, pp. 169-85.
  9. ^ William Harris (July 19, 2012). Lebanon: A History, 600-2011. Oxford University Press. p. 274. ISBN 978-0-19-518111-1. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  10. ^ El Basha, Thomas (March 22, 2013). "Lebanese PM announces resignation of his government". The Daily Star. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  11. ^ "Lebanon election: Hezbollah and allies loose parliamentary majority". BBC News. May 17, 2022. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  12. ^ "تكتل لبنان القوي ٢١ نائبا".
  13. ^ "Lebanon GDP 1988-2024". macrotrends.net.
  14. ^ Bou Khzam, Ruba. "Lebanon elections results 2022". L'Orient - Today. 961. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  15. ^ Keuchkerian, Karine (May 17, 2022). "Here Are The Full & Final Results Of Lebanon's Elections 2022". 961. 961News. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
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March 8 Alliance
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