South Lebanon polls close with 42 percent voter turnout

by Annahar Staff

23 May 2016 | 00:21

  • by Annahar Staff
  • Last update: 23 May 2016 | 00:21

A Muslim Sheikh casts his ballot at a polling station during municipal elections in Houla village, southern Lebanon, May 22, 2016. (Reuters Photo/Aziz Taher)

BEIRUT: 42 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the third round of municipal polls that took place Sunday in the Nabatieh and South Lebanon governorates while the electorate in Jezzine district also voted in parliamentary by-elections.

With the exception of Jezzine district, Hezbollah and Speaker Nabih Berri's Amal Movement formed joint lists across the majority of municipalities in South Lebanon where they are competing against family-backed candidates and civil society groups.

By the time polling stations closed., 57.5 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in Sidon district, 53 percent in Jezzine, 42.5 percent in Bint Jbeil, 49 percent in Tyre, 43.2 percent in Marjayoun, 47 percent in Hasbaya, and 49 percent in Nabatieh.

Polling stations closed at 7 p.m. and official results are expected on Monday.

In Jezzine, the electorate headed to polling stations to vote for municipalities across the district as well as to elect a new lawmaker to succeed Michel Helou, who passed away in June 2014. 

Amal Abou Zeid, a candidate backed by the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) and the Lebanese Forces (LF) is competing for the vacant parliamentary seat--one of three reserved for Jezzine's district--against Ibrahim Azar, the son of former MP Samir Azar who enjoys the support Speaker Nabih Berri's Amal Movement.

In addition to Aou Zeid and Azar, retired police chief Brig. Gen. Salah Gebran is running for the seat.

Both FPM founder MP Michel Aoun and LF leader Samir Geagea urged their supporters to rally behind Abou Zeid.


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