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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Lebanese take their fight with a century-old political order to the ballot box

Towering above the wreckage wrought by nearly three years of economic collapse are endless rows of election billboards. Some show relatively unfamiliar candidates fielded by new political groups. But most display the looming faces of politicians from decades-old sectarian parties. Nearly all of the campaign slogans promise “change.”
The irony is not lost on anyone in a country where negligence by the political elite nearly destroyed the capital in the biggest non-nuclear explosion in history.
On Sunday, Lebanese citizens will vote for a new parliament for the first time since an October 2019 uprising demanded the fall of a century-old political order. The path to political change has been rife with challenges, and whether this year’s election will deliver a new political makeup is far from certain.

But this is a moment of reckoning for Lebanon’s political elite. The establishment…

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