Machnouk speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Monday, May 7, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The country's top leaders called Monday for de-escalation and cooperation to swiftly form a new government, a day after Lebanon's first legislative polls in nine years.Unofficial results showed that the Lebanese Forces, which currently has eight MPs, has won 14 parliamentary seats.Commenting on the results of the elections, which were marked by a weak voter turnout, Hariri said the Future Movement had won 21 parliamentary seats, 11 fewer that what his party had held since the last elections in 2009 .Hariri acknowledged that he had hoped for a stronger showing in the elections but said he remained happy with the result.Hariri Monday offered to turn over the election page and cooperate with his opponents to preserve the country's stability.Hariri appeared to be unfazed by the loss of some parliamentary seats.Hariri and other politicians blamed the disappointing turnout – 49.2 percent compared with 54 percent in the 2009 elections – on the new electoral system, which appeared to have perplexed voters.Hariri is the favorite to form a new national unity government. Berri also called for a swift formation of a new government, signaling he would again support Hariri to form it.
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