Normal turnout for the parliamentary elections in Beirut

Published May 30th 2005 in
Amid normal turnout for voters, the first phase of the Lebanese parliamentary elections took place on Sunday in Beirut area to choose 19 parliamentarians for membership in the 128 member parliament.

While the free national trend led by Michael Aoun and the Armenian Tashnaq party decided to boycott the elections in Beirut in in protest of what they considered "appointment" of some members, Saad Eddine al-Hariri, the son of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri who was killed in the explosion of March 14, urged the Lebanese people to vote against what he called criminals considering that the "Lebanese masses will be faithful for Rafiq al-Hariri."

Al-Hariri was watching two of his brothers cast their votes in Beirut but he did not transfer his election place from his birthplace Sidon in south Lebanon to Beirut.

For his part, candidate for the parliamentary elections Jubran Tweini of the al-Hariri list and who is also the editor of the Lebanese daily al-Nahar said in a statement to the Qatari al-Jazeera TV that the call to boycott the elections is a call to marginalize the Christian areas. He questioned the reason behind the Michael Aoun's boycotting for the elections in Beirut while calling for their participation in these elections in the mount of Lebanon area.

However, the Orthodox candidate Khalil Brumannah who is fighting for the election independently and competes with Tweini for this seat called for the amendment of the elections law which mingles between the smaller and greater circles and to approve proportional representation in the elections.

The Lebanese prime minister Najib Miqati considered that these elections are a special democratic achievement following the developments in Lebanon since the assassination of al-Hariri.