Only two days before local elections are expected to be held in Mount Lebanon, a number of electoral lists were announced today. The list of Faithfulness and Construction was released in Alayeh headed by Wajdi Mrad.
The list was announced by Environment Minister Akram Shhayyeb and it groups members of the Socialist Progressive Party and supporters of Immigrants Minister Talal Arslan. Another consensus list was announced today in the area of Shwayfat headed by Wajih Saab. The electoral list in the Shouf town of Baakline will be released later today and it is also expected to be a consensus list.
Meanwhile, Hizbullah is expected to release the party's list in Ghbairy following last night's announcement of two electoral lists in Bourj Al-Barajneh and Ghbairy by Information Minister Bassem Al-Sabaa.
There were rumors in town this morning that local ballots in Beit Shabab will be canceled. But it seems there is no confirmation yet from the interior ministry.
However, Interior Minister Michel Al-Murr today confirmed that municipal and mayoral elections will not be held in Al-Hadath.
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today held talks on the upcoming local elections in the capital with a delegation of the Armenian Hanshak Party. Hariri held similar discussions with another delegation from the editors' syndicate headed by Melhem Karam. The premier told his visitors the government seeks to support Lebanese independent youth to attain seats in the country's municipal councils. Hariri reiterated that apolitical local elections will ensure services for all the people of the country and not just for those supporting political parties.
The premier also received the secretary general of the Arab Dentists' Union accompanied by the head of the dentists? syndicates in Beirut and Northern Lebanon.
Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Nasrallah Boutrous Sfeir today held talks with Lawyer Naji Al-Boustani on the upcoming municipal and mayoral elections in Mount Lebanon. Al-Boustani later told reporters at Bkirki the electoral battle in the town of Deir Al-Qamar is democratic stressing that consensus exists between War Displaced Minister Walid Jumblatt and Dori Shammoun.
Sfeir later held similar talks with the head of the Phalanges Party in Lebanon George Saadeh. He also received deputy Sleiman Kannan who warned against sharp familial splits witnessed by the local scene. Dr. Tawfik Al-Hindi said after meeting Sfeir the real problem lies in the municipal and mayoral election law which did not organize a distribution of seats in the capital among the different religious sects.
The head of the higher Shiite council Sheikh Mohammed Mahdi Shamseddine today called on all Lebanese not to choose political and party figures as their representatives in the country's different municipal and mayoral seats. He advised the Lebanese to vote for those men and women who have proven their loyalty and independence.
Shamseddine also repeated his call for an effective and strong participation by the Lebanese in these local ballots.
Israel today shelled the outskirts of Sojod and Jabal Al-Rafii in Iqlim Al-Touffah. Israeli warplanes also carried out intensive overflights in the skies of Nabatieh and the Iqlim Al-Touffah area. This was accompanied by a number of inspection flights over the same area.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese resistance in the South attacked the Israeli outpost in Sojod this morning.
In another development, Israeli Radio announced one Israeli soldier was injured in resistance shelling of the eastern sector of the zone Israel occupied in South Lebanon. The resistance earlier stated it shelled the Israeli outpost of Kawkaba early this morning.
The five-nation cease-fire monitoring group is scheduled to meet on Tuesday at the UNIFIL's headquarters in Naqoura. The panel will look into two complaints filed by Israel. Lebanon is expected to lodge complaints to the group over Israeli truce violations in more than one incident and in different areas in the South and the Western Bekaa.
The truce bans attacks to and from civilian areas. It urges both the Lebanese Resistance and Israel to avoid civilians while fighting in South Lebanon.
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