Posted by Joshua on Sunday, August 5th, 2007
Aoun supporters putting on a show. Lebanon may be the only country where elections produce as much party fever as they do in the US.
And to think that these two ladies might be branded as terror-supporters by George Bush's new executive order sanctioning anti-March 14 activity.
In Beirut, the vote for Eido's seat was expected to be easily won by Mohammed al-Amin Itani, a candidate of parliament majority leader Saad Hariri's Future Movement, particularly since the Hezbollah-led opposition did not officially sponsor a candidate and has boycotted the election.
But in the Metn, the vote for Gemayel's seat is a bitter contest between two candidates including the assassinated politician's father, Amin Gemayel, who was president of Lebanon for much of the 1980s.
Turn out was estimated at 36% of the 140.752 registered voters in Beirut and 51% of the 165.734 voters in the Metn when polling centers closed at 6 p.m.
Ballot counting started and final results are not expected before midnight, but both sides are claiming victory.
Reported acts of violence were minimal with only three people wounded in fist fights and 10 arrested for alleged fraud, which is rather customary in Lebanon's elections since independence from French mandate in 1943.
Amin Gemayel faces off against Kamil Khoury, who is supported by Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun, a former army commander and interim prime minister allied with the Hezbollah-led opposition. Aoun's party dominated the district in the 2005 legislative elections, but al-Nahar, a newspaper that backs Gemayel is predicting his victory, claiming the Aoun's popularity has fallen off due to his alliance with Shiites rather than Sunnis.
This picture is of young Gemayel supporters helping an elderly lady
to the polls. The rose is an Amin Gemayel symbol of mourning
for his son, Pierre, who Lebanese authorities claim was murdered
by Sunni extremists and Gemayel claims was murdered on Syria's orders.