Incidents of political violence including an assault on one candidate and an attack on the office of another are casting a shadow over Lebanon’s first general election in nine years. The May 6 vote will take place using a complicated new electoral law. It is not expected to cause major changes to the government or its policies. Analysts expect Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri will head the next cabinet. But the law has made the outcome less predictable in some places. This has sharpened local rivalries and is encouraging parties to campaign extra hard.
“The threats to candidates, men and women, are escalating. We expect more of them as we approach the election, and we expect an increase in violence,” said Omar Kabboul, the executive director of the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE), a group of independent electoral observers.
“The outcome of the elections is uncertain. The more uncertain the outcome, the more fear there is within the parties and the bigger the agitation in speeches.”
Some 28 years after Lebanon’s civil war, nobody expects any major strife, but the country has been plagued by repeated bouts of political instability that have weighed on its economy.
Full Article: Local tensions flare up before Lebanese election | Reuters.