Monday, August 06, 2007

Aoun wins Metn - just

Here are the results of the Metn by-elections.

Representing the oppositional Free Patriotic League of general Michel Aoun, candidate Kamil Khoury (see interview below) won 39,534 votes, against 39,116 votes for Amin Gemayel, leader of the governing Falange party. A difference of only 418 votes or around 0.5 percent.

The seat in West Beirut was easily won by the candidate of the governing Future Movement of PM Fuad Siniora.

It is interesting to see that Sunni Muslims are overwhelmingly voting for a pro-Western, American backed government. While Christians are very much divided and are seriously flirting with the anti-American camp and with pro-totalitarian Syria.

Harald Doornbos


jordi said...

Excellent article. It really reflects the outcome of the elections: boring!!

A lot of tension had been built up the last couple of weeks. And we end up with 2 parties who declare themselves winners. Both side pretend to be happy with the results. No personal or political consequences? What about presidential ambitions?

Despite the importance of the elections not even 50% showed up in Metn. In Beirut not even 20%.

Every Lebanese talks at least 5 hours a day about politics. And when we have elections not even 20% shows up?? According to Naharnet many of the people who voted in Metn came from Syria. It looks like over there they appreciate democracy.

Can Lebanon handle democracy? Does Lebanon deserve democracy?

Anonymous said...

And what did Khoury (that is, Aoun) win? Lahoud is saying that he will not recognize results anyway.
On the other hand if people in Metn and happy with Aoun and Hizb they will have to bear the consequences of their choices.
Sometimes I think that trying to follow meanders of Lebanese politics resembles watching a soap-opera. *sigh*

Harald Doornbos said...

@ Ella

Yes, a very bad soap opera...

Anonymous said...

Whoever won doesn't interest me at all. Nowhere I can find any information about what the candidates stand for as far as Lebanon itself is concerned. What about corruption, economy, welfare, health care, education etcetera. I really can't believe that the Syrian influence is the main problem in Lebanon.

Harald Doornbos said...

@ PB

You are totally right. But no side has any idea on the topics you mentioned. I've interviewed Michel Aoun in Beirut, a couple of weeks after his return from France. He then clearly told me: "There is no place for religion in politics." Couple of months later he announced his pact with Hezbollah, the Party of God. So these guys basically do whatever the leader things is ok for that day.
The Middle East is so difficult to grasp because parties aren't divided into left- or right-wing. It is much more about personal deals between the upperclass, family history of the candidates, religion and tradition. About things like heatlhcare, schooling etc.. the motto here is: If you have money you can visit a hospital, if not - bad luck. Same with schooling and universities(although primary and secondary are free to all).
cheers and thanks for comment. I'll soon write something more on this topic.