A secular coalition that ran in Lebanon’s parliamentary elections said on Tuesday it will legally challenge the defeat of one of its candidates, slamming the vote count as untransparent. Kulluna Watani, an alliance of civil society activists, had projected it would win at least two seats in the landmark May 6 vote — an achievement in a country with a deeply entrenched political class. But just one candidate, high-profile reporter Paula Yacoubian, scored a spot in the 128-member parliament. A second, writer and feminist activist Joumana Haddad, was expected to win according to several preliminary party counts, and had been tearfully celebrating with supporters on Sunday night. But as official results came in on Monday, it appeared Kulluna Watani had not scored enough votes to secure a second seat for Haddad.
“The day after the election, we learned that her competitor got the seat,” said Wadih al-Asmar, a campaign organiser for Kulluna Watani.
It sparked an upheaval, with Haddad’s devastated supporters gathering outside the interior ministry to demand a recount.
“The vote count was poorly managed. We have noted several elements that suggest possible fraud, which we will submit to the Constitutional Council,” Asmar told AFP.