Thursday, August 16, 2007

Aoun popularity suffers a 31% drop in the last election!!!!

According to the final detailed results, and my calculation Aoun popularity fell by more than 24.2% in the Metn. And when I say Aoun I mean his own party’s popularity without his allies (Murr, Armenians and the SSNP/Baath…)

I reached this number by taking the final vote tally for Aoun’s candidate 39534 and then I subtracted the Armenian vote 7300 and Murr’s bloc 10400, various Muslims votes (around 1500) and the SSNP (which most analyst place around 2000)

In between I calculated Murr’s bloc to be around 10400 because in 2005 most analyst placed it around 13000 or 14000 and if one looks at the numbers in Murr strongholds (Imart shelhoub, Btegrine and Biskenta) he lost around 15% to 20% of his popularity, so I went with 20%.

The number we get is 18334=39534-(7300+10400+1500+2000) and that is how many voters owe their allegiance to Aoun.

If we apply the same process to the 2005 election this is what we get: Aoun candidate on his list get an average of 53000 votes, out of this 13000 were for Murr, 7500 for the Armenians, 1500 various Muslims and 2500 SSNP. So Aoun voters amount to 28500.

So 28500-18334= 10166 which translates into a whooping 35.6% drop!!! Of course we need to substrate the 4.2% drop in participation (51.2% in 2005 and 47% in 2007) so this lead us to a final number of 31.4%

Finally, I will add that the Tachnak Armenian party said that it participated by around 8400 (ie 1000 vote more than I calculated) unfortunately I cannot verify this number because there is some mixed voting district where Armenians and other sects voters cast their ballot, so it is impossible to calculate exactly their numbers. (in Lebanon most voting centers are divided on sectarian basis) But in any case if that was true than Aoun popularity dropped by an even larger percentage!

Additionally, Aoun apologist blamed this drop on several factors, such as compassion for the assassinated MP Pierre Gemayel whose seat was in play. Abdo Saad, the pro Aounist electoral analyst, in his article said that this factor place a role as 51.7% of Women voted for Amine Gemayel while 51.9 voted for Aoun candidate. Well if that is true than this factor had a minimal affect that does not amount to more than a 3.6% change (if we considered that both sex should have voted the same) so the drop in Aoun popularity is still 27.8, in short no matter the excuse one can find Aoun popularity dropped at least, and I stress at least by 25%, regardless of all the factor Aoun supports blame…

One last point, the whole issue with the Armenians and blaming them for the defeat of the 14 March candidate, was a sorry thing. It should have never happened, even if there was widespread election manipulation or rigging. This is Lebanon and these ways have always happened one cannot blame a whole sect because some Tachnak party official wanted to squeeze a few more votes out of his consistency to better his options. And as I said before, all in all it was a free and relatively transparent election, so congratulation to the winner and long live democracy.

Source: Al-Akhbar and Annahar (unfortunately Annahar archive is paid so it is no longer accessible if you want to check the article it was published on August 9th 2007, page 13)

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