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Lebanon elections pit old guard against new movement

Lebanon’s parliamentary elections, slated for May 6 under a new electoral law, include a new movement determined to break the control of political dynasties.
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BEIRUT — It is officially election season in Lebanon, and the air is quickly filling up with the chatter of candidates, programs, videos, publicity stunts and alliances. Who can blame them? It has been almost a decade since Lebanon’s last parliamentary elections on June 7, 2009; the delay has been caused political disagreement over the creation of a new electoral law, security concerns, a partial political vacuum and two-year stalemate over the presidency, which led to the elections being postponed twice, allowing parliament to extend its own mandate twice.

Now, nine years and a new electoral law later — a hybrid based on proportional representation where voters have to select a list of pre-decided candidates for their electoral district but get to select their preferred candidate within that list — Lebanon is gearing up for a political battle May 6. The elections are expected to pit the country’s old guard against a new, alternative political current.

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