Obama - 'Power through consent'
Photo: AP
A victorious Hariri celebrates
Photo: Reuters
Nasrallah - Voted out
Photo: AFP
Obama praises Lebanon's 'courage'
US president congratulates Lebanese people for their 'commitment to democracy' after official election results award resounding victory to anti-Syrian camp

US President Barack Obama congratulated the Lebanese people on Monday for a peaceful national election held with "courage" and a "commitment to democracy."


The Sunday vote produced a clear defeat for Hizbullah, the Iranian-back Islamic militant group that the United States classifies as a terrorist organization.


The setback for the Shi'ite group coincided with Obama's call in Cairo last week for dialogue and understanding among Muslims and the predominantly Christian west, the United States in particular.


"Once more, the people of Lebanon have demonstrated to the world their courage and the strength of their commitment to democracy," Obama said in a statement said, without direct reference to Hizbullah.


"It is our sincere hope that the next government will continue along the path towards building a sovereign, independent and stable Lebanon… Government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who hold power: you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion," the president added.


The United States supported the outgoing parliamentary majority and the outgoing majority won 71 of the 128 seats in parliament.


"The high turnout and the candidates themselves - many have personally experienced the effects of the violence that has cast a shadow over the Lebanon - provide the best indicators of the desire for security and prosperity among Lebanese, "he said.


Reuters and AFP contributed to this report


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