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In Hezbollah's northeastern redoubt of Baalbek, election victories are typically taken for granted.But that may change after the first round of municipal polls on May 8 .Local residents attribute the drop in Hezbollah's popularity in the municipal elections to several reasons, the most important of which is the party's perennial control of the local administration.Baalbek Madinati, which was backed by former Minister Charbel Nahas, was attempting to wrest control of the city's 21-member municipal council away from Hezbollah, which has dominated it for the past 12 years.The party's relatively weak showing has also raised questions about its support for proportional representation in any national electoral law because under such a law, Hezbollah's opponents could win some seats in Parliament and municipal councils – potentially weakening Hezbollah's hand at the national level.
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