President of the Republic Elias Al-Hrawi reportedly said he hoped national balance will prevail in upcoming the municipal and mayoral elections in the capital. Deputy Shaker Abu-Sleiman visited the president at Baabda today and later quoted him as saying he relies heavily on the awareness of voters of the necessity of preserving national co-existence. Hrawi also reportedly said he preferred the principle of appointment in large cities under certain conditions and restrictions to preserve the balance. Hrawi also received at Baabda the president of the board of directors of the international financial institution, Merril Lynch
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today discussed the final administrative and technical preparations for the upcoming municipal and mayoral elections in Beirut and the South with his deputy, Interior Minister Michel Al-Murr.
Al-Hariri also held talks today with a delegation of the union of Beiruti families who stressed the importance of national co-existence for all the people of the capital. The union earlier held a press conference at the press syndicate in Beirut voicing rejection all sectarian suggestions which previously threatened civil peace. The union also called on Beirut's families to participate in the polls and to support the consensus list of the capital. The premier later met a delegation of Armenian parties. Discussions centered on Sunday's ballots in the capital.
Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani today stressed national unity and the necessity of its prevalence in Sunday's local ballots. During Friday's sermon, Qabbani called on all the residents of Beirut to heavily participate in Sunday's elections to thwart all attempts at shaking the balance and breaking consensus in the capital. He added anyone who aims at defying the unity of Beirut, is also preparing for destroying the unity of the whole country. Qabbani also said people should vote for those who really deserve to be elected bearing in mind the necessity of preserving national balance in the capital and in all Lebanese areas.
Mount Lebanon Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Ali Al-Jouzou today stressed in his Friday sermon on the preservation of national balance in the capital. He also pointed out some kind of conspiracy being woven in the capital aimed at implementing doubt in municipal and mayoral elections. In his sermon, he said there is a deep responsibility on all the residents of Beirut to preserve the current consensus in the city.
Similar views were voiced today by the head of the Higher Shiite Council Imam Mohammed Mahdi Shamseddine. The Shiite cleric also called for wide participation in Sunday's polls.
The head of the consensus list of the Renaissance of Beirut, engineer Abdel Menem Al-Arees, today said that the list which could gain the trust of different Beiruti officials will be able to serve the capital. Al-Arees also stressed his list includes all parties and sides in the capital adding it is a balanced list.
For his part, Deputy Tammam Salam, who supports the list, also called on the residents of Beirut to look at the upcoming elections with a sense of responsibility void of any sectarian considerations. He expressed trust in the awareness of all the residents of the city.
Officials in Hizbullah, the Amal Movement and some Armenian parties in the capital also voiced support and confidence in the city's consensus list. Meanwhile, around 45 candidates in Beirut have withdrawn, most in favor of the city's list.
Twelve men, including 11 Palestinians and a Lebanese, were arrested yesterday for sticking posters of Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri in Ashrafieh. This according to a police report which added the arrested were driving two cars packed with a huge quantity of posters of Hariri carrying the slogan: "Hariri and no other". The group admitted they were working for a campaign office of the Abdel-Hamid Fakhoury-backed Beirut list in Bourj Abi Haidar. They also claimed they had been paid by Fakhoury campaigners to stick these posters in a bid to provoke unrest in the area which is highly resided by Christians.
In Sidon, the list of the "Decision of Sidon" was officially announced during a press conference held in the city in the presence of the 21 candidates of the list. The list is backed by Deputy Bahiyya Al-Hariri, Dr. Abdel Rahman Al-Bizri, and the head of the political office of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiyyah, Ali Al-Sheikh Ammar.
Last night, deputy Al-Hariri held a press conference alongside a number of candidates running under the list including: Wehbe Shaayb, Arab Kalash, Fadi Hijazi, Saeed Akra, and Ali Baouji.
In another development, Internal Security Forces will set up high security measures in the South on Sunday to offset any chances of clashes between the different rivals.
The president of the board of directors of Merill Lynch today voiced his objection against a financial report saying that Lebanon's financial and economic conditions have recently deteriorated. He was speaking after talks with President Elias Al-Hrawi at the presidential palace in Baabda.
He added that his company views these conditions in Lebanon as very positive. He said that Lebanon is working hard to decrease financial inflation adding that any development on this level needs time to be accomplished. Over the last four years, this international financial institution helped to raise over $2 US dollars for Lebanese issuers.
The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon
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