Lebanon: Efforts to Unify Beirut’s First Electoral District

A Lebanese woman casts her vote at a polling station during the municipal elections in Beirut, Lebanon, May 8, 2016. (AP/Hassan Ammar)
A Lebanese woman casts her vote at a polling station during the municipal elections in Beirut, Lebanon, May 8, 2016. (AP/Hassan Ammar)
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Lebanon: Efforts to Unify Beirut’s First Electoral District

A Lebanese woman casts her vote at a polling station during the municipal elections in Beirut, Lebanon, May 8, 2016. (AP/Hassan Ammar)
A Lebanese woman casts her vote at a polling station during the municipal elections in Beirut, Lebanon, May 8, 2016. (AP/Hassan Ammar)

Lebanon’s political forces and parties are preparing to engage in the upcoming electoral battle, amid uncertainty over the elections results in the wake of the adoption of a new electoral law based on the proportional system.

Beirut’s first electoral district - which comprises the areas of Ashrafieh, Rmeil, Saifi and Medawar - is one of the most difficult and complex districts, because of the presence of parties and figures opposed to the forces represented in the government, such as the Phalange Party and the National Liberal Party and independent forces.

In this regard, Minister of State for Planning Michel Pharaon is seeking to resolve obstacles that make alliances difficult in his constituency (Beirut I) through meetings and contacts with the concerned parties.

The minister is trying to reach the broadest understanding to avoid political battle that might have negative repercussions on the post-election phase.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Pharaon said he “will consult with the forces that form the electoral list of Beirut’s first constituency,” acknowledging that such step “requires much work and cooperation coupled with the availability of sincere intentions.”

“I have started a round of consultations about the possibility of weaving an electoral alliance, with the encouragement of President Michel Aoun and Dr. Samir Geagea, head of the Lebanese Forces Party. I will be in contact with Prime Minister Saad Hariri soon,” he stated.

Pharaon, however, pointed out that the nature of the election law makes the task difficult to achieve, “contrary to the majority law that facilitates the formation of a balanced list.”

Some of the ruling parties have revealed their intention to forge alliances in Beirut.

The Future Movement is moving towards an alliance with the Free Patriotic Movement [FPM], the Armenian Tashnag Party and Minister Michel Pharaon, waiting for the results of consultations with the Lebanese Forces.



UN Palestinian Agency Seeks Pushback against Israel's Effort to Disband it 

A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)
A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)
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UN Palestinian Agency Seeks Pushback against Israel's Effort to Disband it 

A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)
A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)

The head of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) on Monday called to push back against efforts by Israel to have the organization disbanded.

"Israel has long been critical of the agency's mandate. But it now seeks to end UNRWA's operations, dismissing the agency's status as a United Nations entity supported by an overwhelming majority of Member States," UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said at a meeting of the agency's advisory commission.

"If we do not push back, other UN entities and international organizations will be next, further undermining our multilateral system."