Lebanon holds 1st parliamentary elections in 9 years

Lebanon holds 1st parliamentary elections in 9 years
Heads of polling stations and clerks receive ballot boxes for parliamentarian elections in Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, May 5, 2018. Thousands of ballot boxes were distributed on Saturday morning to polling stations' employees under election officials' supervision for Lebanon parliamentarian elections. (AP Photo/Fadi Tawil)

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s polling stations have opened for the first parliamentary elections in nine years.

Sunday’s vote is taking place amid tight security with army and police forces deployed near polling stations and on major intersections.

The main race is between a Western-backed coalition headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group.

There are about 3.7 million eligible voters and the early results are expected to start coming out after polling stations close at 7 p.m. Some 586 candidates, including 86 women, are running for the 128-seat parliament that is equally divided between Muslims and Christians.