In Lebanon's North Governorate, seven vote counting committees continue their work at the Justice palace in Tripoli. Sources in the North today predicted the electoral list supported by deputy Omar Karameh, deputies Maurice Al-Fadel and Ahmad Hbous and former deputy Ali Eid would win more seats in Tripoli's municipal council than the rival list of Independents headed Engineer Ahmad Qamareddine. Unofficial results indicate that Qammareddine, however, has scored the highest percentage of votes in the city. The sources added the municipal council of the city might include three or four candidates of the Islamic committees and two independent candidate. Official results are not expected before tomorrow morning.
A closely-fought electoral battle was witnessed yesterday in North Lebanon. The electoral day was accompanied by high security measures and a heavy deployment of troops of the Army and the Internal Security Forces. Heavy turnout was reported in Triploi, Bsharri, Zogharta, Qbayyat and some other towns of the North. A fierce was battle was scored in Tripoli especially between a list supported by former prime minister deputy Omar Karameh and a list of independents believed to be supported by Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri. In Zogharta, the principal rivals were candidates backed by Health Minister Suleiman Franjieh and other supported by deputy Naila Mouawwad. In Bsharri, two main lists were competing over municipal seats namely a list sponsored by two MP's Kabalan Issa Al-Khoury and Jebran Tawk and another of the followers of the disbanded Lebanese Forces. In Akkar, former minister Mikhael Al-Daher and Culture Minister Fawzi Hobeish supported two different lists. In the North, a total of 4,018 candidates vied for 1,794 municipal council seats, while 1,526 candidates ran for the post of mukhtar in different areas of the governorate.
After local elections were carried out in the Mount Lebanon and the North Governorates, attention shifts to the capital which will witness along with the South the third electoral phase next Sunday.
Sources in the capital today stressed that the list of "Beirut Renaissance" which is supported by Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri, deputy Tammam Salam and most Christian and Armenian parties in Beirut will be announced tomorrow afternoon from the Press syndicate in the presence of the head of the syndicate Mohammed Al-Baalbacki and the 24 members of the list. The sources also expected the list will be a consensus list which preserves the principle of national balance. During a meeting held last night between Hariri and former minister Fouad Boutrous, agreement was reached on a number of Christian candidates that represent the different Christian sects and parties present in the capital.
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today discussed with a number of deputies a number of electoral issues. Hariri received deputies Aymen Shqair, Jamil Shammas, Anwar Al-Khalil, Wajih Al-Baarini, Mohammed Ali Al-Mayss, Elias Al-Khazen, Bahaa Eddine Itani, and Antoine Haddad. After meeting the premier, deputy Haddad stressed the happening of local ballots is an accomplishment in itself regardless of the consequences that might follow.
Hariri later discussed the expected municipal and mayoral elections in the city of Sidon with MP Bahiyaa Al-Hariri. Deputy Al-Hariri later said that the list of the Future of Sidon will be announced tomorrow adding it will be a complete list of two members. She added contacts are still underway with the Jamaa Al-Islamiyya.
The Secretary General of the Arab League, Ismat Abdel Majid today congratulated Lebanon following the visit of French President Jacques Chirac to Beirut. He described the visit as vital for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 425 without any conditions. Abdel Majid was speaking after talks with Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri in Beirut. Abdel Majid said his discussions with the Lebanese premier centered on the general situation in the Arab world in light of recent developments in the region and the difficulties facing the Mideast peace process.
Statements made by French President Jacques Chirac during his three-day official visit to Lebanon stressing France's support for the unconditional implementation of Resolution 425 evoked discontent in Jerusalem today.
Before heading the weekly cabinet meeting of his cabinet, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met a number of ministers including the ministers of defense and infrastructure Yitzhak Mordechai and Ariel Sharon in a bid to reach consensus regarding the recent American initiative.
Meanwhile, Israeli officials today expressed discontent with the stance announced yesterday in Lebanon by French President Jacques Chirac who rejected the Israeli plan of a conditional implementation of Resolution 425. Netanyahu's advisor and Communication Minister David Bar Illan said the French stance will not prevent Israel from continuing its efforts to persuade the Lebanese government to facilitate Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon under certain necessary security arrangements.
French President Jacques Chirac yesterday returned to Paris following a three-day official visit to Lebanon. During his visit, Chirac held talks with Lebanese leaders which centered on the situation in South Lebanon, the deadlock in the Middle East peace process and bilateral ties between France and Lebanon. Chirac also inaugurated the Palais du Pins after undergoing renovation and reconstruction. The palace will be the new headquarters of the French embassy in Beirut. The French President also inaugurated the 18th conference of Francophone mayors and visited the Ecole Superieure Des Affaires at Clemenceau and the National Museum in Mathaf. In his different statements, Chirac stressed France's ongoing support for Lebanon and for an unconditional Israeli withdrawal from the South. Chirac reiterated Resolution 425 must be implemented to the letter adding it needs no further explanations or negotiations. He asserted his country refuses to let the situation in the region remain as is, adding that peace will have to be comprehensive.
The five-nation cease-fire monitoring group will meet tomorrow at the UNIFIL's headquarters in Naqoura to look into two complaints filed by Lebanon and Israel over alleged truce violations. Lebanon filed a complaint to the group yesterday over the death of civilian Mohammed Ahmad Mokalled, 17, and the injury of his brother, Hussein, in the village of Arab Saleem in an Israeli rocket attack. The Israeli complaint claims that resistance attacks were launched from civilian areas in the village of Barasheet.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese resistance in the South today carried out a number of attacks on Israeli positions in the South. The Amal movement attacked six Israeli posts in Shkeef, Radar, Qantara, Salaa, Blat and Barasheet. The movement also announced it scored direct hits in these attacks.
The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon
[ Lebanon.com Weekly Business Reports ]
[ Lebanon.com Local News Wire Archives ] [ Back to Lebanon.com Home Page ]