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LEBANON - Sept. 3 - Opposition Candidates Win Elections.

The second and final round of general elections is held for the Beirut district and south Lebanon. In Beirut, opposition candidates led by ex-PM Rafiq Hariri win 18 of the 19 seats constested. Opposition candidates in the south also win many seats, along with Amal which has an electoral alliance with Hizbollah. Hariri, a billionaire, is said to have spent as much as US$200m from him and his allies to win the elections, not only in the final round by also in the first round held on Aug. 27 for Mount Lebanon, the north and the Bekaa regions. The government of PM Hoss and President Lahoud were dealt a heavy blow. MP Hoss lost his seat for Beirut along with three cabinet members, and representatives of the traditional Beirut political families, including Tammam Salam. In the south, the Amal/Hizbollah alliance won all 28 seats for the 128-member parliament. Both parties have backing from Lahoud and the current government but may support a cabinet led by Hariri.

The vote reflects the growing economic discontent as Lebanon struggles with stagnating growth and a public debt that reaches 140% of GDP. The elections also mark an attempt by the political class to resist Syrian-designed plans to maintain Damascus' most favoured allies in government. Virtually all candidates supported a Syrian role in Lebanon - though to varying degrees - and the next parliament will remain committed to Syrian interest and opposed to the signing of a peace agreement with Israel before Damascus reaches its own peace settlement. But some candidates openly complained of increased Syrian meddling in the run-up to the elections and called for a more balanced relationship with Damascus, which has run Lebanese politics since the end of the civil war in 1990. Although Syria managed the formation of electoral coalitions, the elections ended with Bashar Al Assad, Syria's new young ruler, unable or unwilling to resist the vote for change - even if this meant upsetting Lahoud, a close personal and political ally. Lahoud, the former head of the army, engineered. Hariri's removal from office in 1998. But with the post of PM reserved for a Sunni and with Hoss heading for retirement, the president might have no choice but to bring Hariri back. Hariri's relations with Damascus were strained two years ago, when Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam lost the Lebanon portfolio to Bashar, but they have improved in recent months as Khaddam re-emerged powerful after President Hafez Al Assad's death in June 2000. Hariri has even promised large investments in Syria's faltering economy. The businessman Hariri, PM from 1992 to 1998, presided over high rates of economic growth, spurred by the first years of post-war reconstruction. But his administration was criticized for allowing corruption to spread and accumulating huge public debt. Under Lahoud and Hoss, the economy went into deep recession as foreign debts soared to US$21 bn. Moreover, the Hoss government's anti-corruption campaign, a main plank of the new Lahoud era, was perceived as a witch-hunt against Hariri associates and won the former PM sympathy. Hoss's cabinet also suffered from rising concerns that the president is relying heavily on military and intelligence services, whose role in public life has increased in the past two years).

In the first round, for 63 seats, voter appetite for change was evident on Aug. 27. Walid Jumblatt, the Druze leader and recurrent thorn in the government's side, won a clean sweep in the Chouf mountains, south-east of Beirut. In the Metn region, to the capital's north east, the group of five pro-government candidates that included Michel Murr, the interior minister and close ally of Syria, won 5 of 8 seats. Nassib Lahoud, an independent Maronite who had complained of Murr interference in the campaign, held his Metn seat. Another victor was Pierre Gemayel, the son of former president Amin Gemayel, who returned from exile in France in July. (Christian parties opposed to Syrian dominance in Lebanon urged a boycott of the poll. Both Nassib Lahoud and Jumblatt have advocated a national unity government with all parties, including those outside the political system. Several of Hariri's allies won seats in the first round). The following is the list of MPs who won in the Aug. 27 and Sept. 3 elections:

Beirut:

District 1 (Ashrafieh, Mazraa, Saifi)

Rafik Hariri (Sunni) Adnan Araqji (Sunni)

Ghattas Khoury (Maronite) Michel Pharaon (Greek Catholic)

Basel Fuleihan (Protestant) Atef Majdalani (Greek Orthodox)

District 2 (Bashoura, Rmeil, Moseitbeh)

Walid Eido (Sunni) Bassem Yamout (Sunni)

Mohammed Berjawi (Shiite) Beshara Merhej (G. Orthodox)

Nabil de Freij (Minorities) Yeghia Djerdjian MP (Armenian Orthodox)

D3 (Ras Beirut, Ein Mreisseh, Mina Al Hosn, Zooqaq Al Blat, Medawar)

Mohammed Qabbani (Sunni) Ghinwa Jalloul (Sunni)

Ghazi Aridi (Druze) Nasser Qandil (Shiite)

Jean Hogasapian (A. Orthdx) Hagop Kassardjian (A. Orthodox)

Serge Toursarkissian (A. Catholic)

South Lebanon - District 1 - Sidon

Mustafa Saad (Sunni) Bahiya Hariri (Sunni)

Zahrani

Nabih Berri (Shiite) Ali Osseiran (Shiite)

Michel Musa (G. Catholic)

Bint Jbeil

Ayoub Humayed (Shiite) Mohammed Fneish (Shiite)

Nabatieh

Abdel-Latif Zein (Shiite) Mohammed Raad (Shiite)

Yassin Jaber (Shiite)

Nazih Mansour (Shiite) Ali Hassan Khalil (Shiite)

Anwar Khalil (Druze) Asaad Hardan (G. Orthodox)

Qassem Hashem (Sunni)

Tyre

Ali Khalil (Shiite) Abdullah Qasir (Shiite)

Ali Khreis (Shiite) Abdel-Hamid Beydoun (Shiite)

Jezzine

Samir Azar (Maronite) George Najm (Maronite)

Antoine Khoury (G. Catholic)

Bekaa - District 1 (Baalbeck, Hermel)

Hussein Husseini (Shiite) Ammar Musawi (Shiite)

Mohammed Yaghi (Shiite) Hussein Hajj Hassan (Shiite)

Assem Qanso (Shiite) Ghazi Zeaiter (Shiite)

Masoud Hujeiri (Sunni) Ibrahim Bayan (Sunni)

Nader Sukkar (Maronite) Marwan Fares (G. Catholic)

District 2 (Zahle)

Elie Skaff (G. Catholic) Nicolas Fattoush (G. Catholic)

Khalil Hrawi (Maronite) Mohsen Dalloul (Shiite)

Mohammed Ali Mais (Sunni) George Kassardji (A. Orthodox)

Youssef Maalouf (G. Orthodox)

District 3 - Western Bekaa (Rashaya)

Abdel-Rahim Mrad (Sunni) Sami Khatib (Sunni)

Mahmoud Abu Hamdan (Shiite) Elie Ferzli (G. Orthodox)

Faisal Daoud (Druze) Robert Ghanem (Maronite)

North - District 1 (Akkar)

Jamal Ismail (Sunni) Wajih Baarini(Sunni)

Mohammed Yehya (Sunni) Michael Daher (Maronite)

Issam Fares (G. Orthodox) Karim Rassi (G. Orthodox)

Abdel Rahman Abdel Rahman (Alawite)

Bsharri

Jubran Tawk (Maronite) Qabalan Issa Khoury (Maronite)

Dinnieh

Ahmad Fatfat(Sunni) Jihad Samad (Sunni)

District 2 (Batroun)

Boutros Harb (Maronite) Sayed Akl(Maronite)

Koura

Fayez Ghosn(G. Orthodox) Farid Makari(G. Orthodox)

Salim Saade (G. Orthodox)

Minieh

Saleh Kheir (Sunni)

Tripoli

Nagib Mikati (Sunni) Mohammed Safadi (Sunni)

Mohammed Kabbara (Sunni) Sunni Omar Karami(Sunni)

Mosbah Ahdab (Sunni) Jean Obeid (Maronite)

Maurice Fadel(G. Orthodox) Ahmad Hbous(Alawite)

Zgharta

Sleiman Franjieh (Maronite) Nayla Moawad (Maronite)

Kaissar Moawad (Maronite)

Mount Lebanon - District 1 (Jbeil)

Abbas Hashem (Shiite) Nazem Khoury (Maronite)

Fares Soueid (Maronite)

Kesrouan

Farid Khazen (Maronite) George Frem (Maronite)

Mansour Bone (Maronite) Neamatallah Abi Nasr (Maronite)

Fares Bouiez (Maronite)

District 2 (Metn)

Emile Lahooud (Maronite) Pierre Gemayel (Maronite)

Nassib Lahoud (Maronite) Chaker Abu Sleiman (Maronite)

Michel Murr (G. Orthodox) Antoine Haddad (G. Catholic)

Sebouh Hovnanian (Armenian) Albert Moukhaiber (G. Orthodox)

District 3 (Aley)

Akram Chehayeb (Druze) Talal Arslan (Druze)

Fouad Saad (Maronite) Pierre Helou (Maronite)

Antoine Andraos (G. Orthodox)

Baabda

Bassem Sabeh (Shiite) Ali Ammar (Shiite)

Ayman Shuqair (Druze) Salah Hnein (Maronite)

Antoine Ghanem (Maronite) Abdallah Farhat (Maronite)

District 4 (Chouf)

Mohamed Hajjear (Sunni) Alaeddine Terro (Sunni)

Marwan Hamadeh (Druze) Walid Jumblatt (Druze)

Nabil Boustany (Maronite) Georges Dib Nehme (Maronite)

Elie Aoun (Maronite) Nahme Tohme (G. Catholic)
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Geographic Code:7LEBA
Date:Sep 9, 2000
Words:1204
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