Villages and towns gear up for municipal by-elections.Summary: 42 villages and towns are making last-minute preparations for municipal by-elections set to take place Sunday, as alliances and lists, many of which transcend the political divide, continue to take shape.
BEIRUT: Forty-two villages and towns across Lebanon are making last-minute preparations for municipal by-elections set to take place Sunday, as alliances and lists, many of which transcend the political divide, continue to take shape.
Speaking to The Daily Star Friday, Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said that all preparations for the polls were finalized. "Everything is ready; security will be preserved inside and outside the polling stations," he added.
Charbel said that although the deadline to withdraw from the race had been last Monday at midnight, candidates could still submit a request to withdraw in a written letter to the qaimaqam in each district, but they would not be refunded their candidacy fee.
As of Friday, lists that were unopposed were declared winners in 15 villages and towns out of the 57 that were originally set to see elections. Most of the by-elections are necessary because municipal councils were dissolved after the 2010 general polls. Others are newly established municipalities, and are holding by-elections for the first time.
In the south, acting-Governor Nicolas Bou Daher oversaw preparations for the polls which will take place in six villages, as ballot boxes and other logistical needs arrived to polling stations.
Last-minute efforts to avoid a battle bore fruit in the southern village of Ibl al-Saqi whose residents are Christians and Druze. Progressive Socialist Party The Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) (Arabic "الحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي" al-hizb al-taqadummi al-ishtiraki leader Walid Jumblatt Walid Jumblatt (Arabic: وليد جنبلاط) (born August 7, 1949) is the current leader of the Progressive Socialist Party "PSP" of Lebanon and the most prominent leader of the Druze community. played a leading role in the negotiations.
Fourteen out of 27 candidates dropped out of the race Monday at midnight, but a 15th candidate needed to withdraw from the contest to allow the 12-member consensus list to win unopposed. Instead, a candidate who was among the 12, withdrew Friday, allowing the list, which is headed by George Rahhal, to win unopposed.
But not all figures in the village were satisfied with the list which included six Christian and six Druze candidates.
Fouad Saade, a former mayor of the village, said that for municipal work to improve, none of the former members should have run for the new council. The head of the council will be a Christian and his deputy a Druze.
In Jezzine, the battle is limited to the village of Sfaray, where 900 people are eligible to vote. The former municipal council was dissolved due to mounting disputes among its members.
Two lists are competing for the municipal council's nine seats. One is headed by former Mayor Habib Elias Daher and backed by Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement and the other list is led by Habib Ghantous and enjoys the support of the Lebanese Forces.
The villages of Bisarieh and Kfar Shalal are the only ones that will have electoral contests in the Zahrani district.
Efforts to convince the Syrian Social Nationalist Party The Syrian Social Nationalist Party (or SSNP) (Arabic: الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي to withdraw from running against its allies in the March 8 coalition have hit a dead end in Bisarieh.
The SSNP SSNP Syrian Social Nationalist Party
SSNP Shasta Senior Nutrition Program
SSNP Secondary School Nursing Program
SSNP Small Size Nuclear Power Plant , which was denied entry to the list, formed an incomplete list with independent candidates that will run against the 15-member-list of Hezbollah, Amal and the Baath Party The Arab Socialist Ba'th Party (also spelled Baath or Ba'ath; Arabic: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي) was founded in 1945 as a left-wing, secular . Over 2,600 people are eligible to vote.
In Kfar Shalal, the battle is dominated by competition between prominent families, with 14 candidates competing over the nine municipal council seats.
Two lists backed by rival families are competing in the Christian village of Alma Shaab in Tyre. Electoral battles will also take place in the Tyre village of Tayr Harfa, and Yater in Bint Jbeil Bint Jbeil (Arabic: بنت جبيل) is the second largest town in the Nabatiye Governorate in Southern Lebanon.
The town has an estimated population of 30,000. .
In the Aley Abey-Ain Drafil municipality, families reached a consensus on a list which would include 10 Druze from Abey and five Christians from Ain Drafil, while four independent candidates are still running. A similar consensus was reached between the families on a list in the village of Salfaya.
In the north, each of the two rival lists in the Akkar village of Tikrit includes candidates supported by the Future Movement.
In the Batroun village of Deir Billa, Batroun MP Butros Harb is working to secure consensus on one list, as two rival lists that each include his supporters are running against each other.
In the Koura village of Rashadbin, a complete nine-member list, headed by ex-Mayor Mikhail Khoury and backed by the LF, is running against a five-member list backed by the Marada Movement Marada Movement (Arabic: تيار المردة), is Lebanese political party and a former militia active during the Lebanese civil war under the name of Marada Brigade. and prominent families. In the Zghorta town of Ardeh, two complete 15-member lists are squaring off. The municipality of Ardeh is made up of four villages: Ardeh, Harf Ardeh, Beit Awkar, and Beit Obeid. One list is supported by the LF and the Independence Movement, while the other is supported by the Marada Movement.
In Dinnieh, two 12-member complete lists will face off in the village of Qtein, the only one in the district holding an election.
In the district of Metn, elections will only take place in the town of Biyaqout, where a list backed by Metn MP and former Deputy Prime Minister A Deputy Prime Minister or Vice Prime Minister is, in some countries, a government minister who can take the position of acting Prime Minister when the real Prime Minister is temporarily absent. Michel Murr will run against a rival list backed by the Kataeb (Phalange pha·lange
[French, from Old French, body of infantrymen, from Latin, from Greek phalanx, phalang-, log, battle array, bone between the finger and toe joints ) Party.
Sunday will mark the first time that local elections are held in the village since 1998, as lists used to win unopposed under Elie Zeinoun, who is currently heading the list supported by Murr. The rival list is headed by Issam Zeinoun.
In Biyaqout, 127 Shiite voters from the Amhaz and Wehbe families are the king-makers for this round. The sect is traditionally represented with one Shiite member on the nine-member council, which is otherwise dominated by Christians.
Shortly after Issam Zeinoun announced his list, which included one Shiite member, Elie Zeinoun broke with tradition and included two Shiite members on his list, prompting the one Shiite member in Issam Zeinoun's list to pull out. Shiite voters are now likely to cast their votes for Elie Zeinoun's list, which is backed by the majority of FPM FPM - Fast Page Mode Dynamic Random Access Memory supporters.
In the Bekaa village of Hawsh al-Nabi, two incomplete lists are facing off, one supported by the Amal Movement and the other includes among its members the brother of Hussein Hajj hajj (häj), the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, one of the five basic requirements (arkan or "pillars") of Islam. Its annual observance corresponds to the major holy day id al-adha, Hasan, Hezbollah's agriculture minister. Hajj Hasan announced he was not backing anyone in the contest.
In the Western Bekaa town of Saghbin, a list supported by native son and MP Robert Ghanem includes members from the SSNP and their rivals the LF and Kataeb and families. It will compete against a list backed by the FPM and prominent families. -- Reporting by Mohammed Zaatari, Antoine Amrieh, Maher Zeineddine and Rakan al-Fakih
Copyright 2012, The Daily Star. All rights reserved.
Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company