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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Lebanon election: Polls open in high-stakes parliamentary vote

The election is the first in Lebanon since a 2019 popular uprising demanded the downfall of the ruling elite, blaming traditional parties for widespread corruption and mismanagement. Several new political groups sprung out of the protest movement and are competing in Sunday’s race, coming head to head with establishment parties.

Political observers view the election as highly competitive and unpredictable. Earlier this year, three-time prime minister Saad Hariri — the leader of the country’s largest Sunni Muslim parliamentary bloc — quit politics, leaving the Sunni vote up for grabs.

A nearly three-year economic depression and the August 2020 port blast, largely blamed on the country’s political elite, may also encourage the Lebanese to vote for new parties in large numbers.
Lebanese army vehicles pass a billboard depicting  candidates for Sunday's parliamentarian elections in Beirut, Lebanon, on May 14.
Lebanon’s financial crisis has caused poverty rates to soar to over 75%, its currency to freefall and its…

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