Beirut's consensus list running for the city's municipal and mayoral elections was announced today by Abdel Menem Al-Arees from the headquarters of the Press syndicate in Beirut. The list adopted the banner: "We will all vote for Beirut's renaissance and co-existence". The consensus list is believed to be the outcome of efforts and wide-ranging contacts made by Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri, former minister Fouad Boutrous and MP Tammam Salam with a great number of officials and dignitaries in the capital. The announcement was made in the presence of the head of the Press Syndicate Mohammed Al-Baalbacki, all the members of the list and a number of social, political, religious and parliamentary officials in the city.
The head of the consensus list, engineer Abdel Menem Al-Arees delivered a statement saying the members of the list were chosen on the criteria of right representation for the civic community and the preservation of national balance, capabilities, experience and good reputation, the will for public service. He added consensus and cooperation will best serve the reconstruction and the renaissance of the city.
The statement released by list of the Renaissance of Beirut was followed with an announcement of the names of candidates running for elections under the list:
Abdel Menem Al-Arees, Salim Itani, Hisham Sinno, Mohammed Kheir Kadi, Roula Ajouz, Isam Barghout, Imad Houri, Moheiddine Qaisi.
Adel Boutrous, Tawfik Kfoury, Kamal Joubran Bakhaazy, Habib Fayyad
Imad Baydoun, Fadi Ali Shahrour, Ahmad Khaled
Joseph Sarkis, Rashid Jalkh
- Greek Catholic:
Bernard Jerbaka, Samy Assaad Rizk
Varujan Kantarjian, Apraham Matossian
- Armenian Catholic:
Samy Raji Nasr
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today headed a meeting of the Parliamentary National Decision Bloc. Hariri updated the bloc on his recent efforts to reach a consensus electoral list in the capital. He stressed the importance of consensus on national balance in the upcoming municipal and mayoral elections in the capital. Members of the bloc called on all voters in Beirut to prove national consensus exists in the city during next Sunday's local ballots. The bloc expressed trust in the awareness among the residents of Beirut to chose their best representatives. The bloc also discussed today the outcome of the visit of French President Jacques Chirac to Lebanon. It praised all his clear stances he made especially his call on Israel to implement UN Security Council Resolution 425 without conditions and his announcement that there will be no security without peace and not vice versa.
Vote counting operations are continuing in Tripoli. However, preliminary results showed a noticeable victory in Zogharta of a list supported by Health Minister Suleiman Franjieh over another one backed by MP Nayla Mouawwad. In Tripoli, a list supported by former Prime Minister deputy Omar Karameh won the majority of the city's municipal council seats. Other winner candidates in Tripoli come from a list supported by Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiyya and the Independent list headed by engineer Ahmad Qammareddine, believed to be backed by Hariri. In Bsharri, candidates supported by the disbanded Lebanese forces are expected to score a noticeable victory. In general. opposition figures in the North seems to win over government-backed candidates.
In Sidon, agreement was reached on a list backed by deputy Bahiyaa Al-Hariri, Dr. Abdel Rahman Al-Bizri and Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiyya. The three parties are continuing talks to reach a final format for this consensus.
Sources in the city reported that around 85% of the names of candidates have been agreed upon up to now. The list will be completed and announced this evening. Last night, the three parties held talks at the residence of deputy Al-Hariri. The main rival to this consensus list is another list supported by Opposition MP Mustafa Saad.
Mediterranean Arab Foreign Ministers today held a second meeting in Beirut to discuss the draft statement prepared by a special committee to be followed during their talks tomorrow in Palermo. The ministers held a similar meeting yesterday to reach a united stance for their partnership talks with the European Union opening in Sicily tomorrow. The secretary general of the Arab League Ismat Abdel Majid is expected to hold a press conference later today along with Foreign Minister Faris Boueiz to announce the basic points agreed upon in their final meeting. A delegation of Arab foreign ministers earlier visited President Elias Al-Hrawi at Baabda to update him on their discussions in Beirut.
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today visited the Central Administration of the Lebanese University in Beirut. He reiterated his concern for the important role and development of the university. The premier also stressed the importance of the university not only in educating the country's youth but also in the administrative, financial and technological development in all areas of society and all sectors of the Lebanese economy. Hariri who was accompanied by Minister of Administrative Reform Bshara Merhej met the president of the university, the deans and members of the administration.
The five-nation cease-fire monitoring group is in session at the UNIFIL's headquarters in Naqoura to look into a number of complaints filed by Lebanon and Israel over alleged truce violations. The meeting of the panel was preceded by an Israeli attack on the French delegates to the panel.
Israeli soldiers shot at them while they were passing on the Hamra crossing accompanied by UNIFIL soldiers.
The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon
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