Lebanon: Shouf-Aley District to Turn into Electoral Battleground
The Shouf-Aley district in Mount Lebanon is heading towards a fierce electoral confrontation between several parties, after failing to reach an understanding over the names of candidates for the parliamentary polls, except for an alliance between the Mustaqbal Movement and the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP).
On Tuesday midnight, the Interior Ministry officially closed candidate registration for the May elections.
At least 3 lists backed by Lebanon’s ruling political parties would compete in the Shouf-Aley district, in addition to a list supported by civil society groups.
According to some observers, the Lebanese Forces objected to include pro-March 8 candidate, Naji Boustani, on a joint list with the Mustaqbal and PSP parties and instead, insisted on naming two candidates, George Adwan and Anis Nassar.
“Contacts between the LF and the PSP are ongoing. All sorts of things could happen,” LF sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday.
In the Shouf-Aley district, Sunnis represent 19 percent of eligible voters, while the Druze constitute 40 percent and the Christian Maronites 27 percent.
Therefore, three lists supported by political parties in power are expected to compete during the next elections in case all contacts fail to reach an agreement between the LF, the PSP and Mustaqbal.
Bilal Abdullah, a PSP candidate, told Asharq Al-Awsat that an agreement was already finalized between the PSP and Mustaqbal.
“We have failed to strike any deal with the Free Patriotic Movement. However, the doors are still open to a possible alliance with the LF,” he said.
Informed sources said the FPM was negotiating a possible alliance with either the Lebanese Democratic Party, headed by Minister for the Displaced Talal Arslan, or head of the Arab Tawhid Party Wiam Wahhab.
There are 322,000 voters in the Shouf-Aley district, which is allotted 13 seats - 5 for Maronite MPs, one Chatholic, four Druze, two Sunnis and one Orthodox.