Monday, August 06, 2007

Only in Lebanon - Both sides win elections!

I just came back from the christian Arab suburbs of East-Beirut where supporters of Amin Gemayel and Michel Aoun both were celebrating an election victory in the Metn area. That is strange. Because according to my information: If two people run for one seat - well, there kind of must be one winner or one looser. I mean, you can't both have 51 percent of the votes. At the other hand, you never know in Lebanon.

On the main road in the Jediedeh area (East Beirut suburbs); Hundreds of Aoun spporters, all dressed in their party colour orange. Saw a couple of yellow Hezbollah flags as well. Aoun and Hezbollah are allies.

About hundred meters further, lot's of Gemayel supporters on scooters waving flags of the Falange and of the Lebanese Forces.

In the middle: Lebanese oldiers in riot gear doing their best to keep both sides seperated. The army doesn't want to be photographed, so no pics of soldiers.

Jediedeh looks like a huge army barrack. On all roads soldiers, on every corner armoured personnel carriers, jeeps or small tanks. Around 100 meters from my house, the harmy has set up some kind of checkpoint.

Until now, no major disturbances. This because as long as both sides feel they won, the party atmosphere will prevail. But wait until the election committee announces the offical results and proclaims one winner...well, the other winner might not find that announcement very funny.

Made both pictures. Aoun supporters on Sunday night. Some carrying orange, others waving the yellow Hezbollah flag.

Harald Doornbos

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