Anti-Syrian Druze Leader Halts Shiite Landslide in South Lebanon Vote
Supporters of anti-Syrian Druze leader Walid Jumblatt managed to prevent a total landslide by a Shiite alliance in southern Lebanon's first local elections in 38 years Sunday, said AFP.
Press reports Monday said that the alliance of Hizbollah and Amal had still taken the majority of the seats at stake in 115 towns and cities, including the Christian enclave of Jezzine.
Supporters of Jumblatt, who in recent months has voiced strong opposition to the continuing Syrian military and political control over Lebanon, swept all the seats in the Druze stronghold of Hasbaya and the surrounding area.
Hizbollah and Amal, who are rivals for domination of Lebanon's important Shiite community but formed an electoral alliance, swept aside left-wing and Christian opponents elsewhere in the region.
Interior Minister Elias Murr is to announce later Monday the official results of the elections, which saw an overall turnout of more than 56 percent of voters, said the Daily Star newspaper.
Around 100,000 people cast their ballots in local elections, it said, adding that approximately 50 percent of the area’s 219,000 registered voters showed up, according to the interior ministry.
Local elections took place in 54 out of 64 towns that were originally scheduled to see polling, after 10 councils were elected unopposed – Albawaba.com
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