"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)

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NEWS AND ARTICLES / HABERLER VE MAKALELER

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

A slain heavyweight, fraud claims: The election in surprises- Daily Star

BEIRUT: After nine years of waiting, Lebanon got a few surprises in its national elections Sunday. Hezbollah lost a seat everyone thought it would win, a longtime MP was dethroned in Batroun and the Lebanese Forces vaulted from eight to 14 seats, according to the latest results. The upsets, big and small, can be divided into two groups: the foreseen and the unforeseen. Here’s a quick roundup of noteworthy tidbits.
CIVIL SOCIETY WINS, THEN LOSES
Experts had never put chances of the so-called civil society lists very high. It was thought they might get a seat or two in East Beirut and Chouf-Aley. Supporters of Kilna Watani (All for the Nation) and other civil society lists thought they’d get more – perhaps five, including a seat in Metn.
But when unofficial results started pouring in it looked like they’d get one seat for Joumana Haddad, then another for Paula Yacoubian. Then nothing else. While pessimists were surprised at the stronger-than-zero showing, activists were shocked at the poor result.
Then Monday, everyone woke up to the Free Patriotic Movement saying its candidate, Antoine Pano, had beaten Haddad. Fury ensued, with protesters marching on the Interior Ministry claiming the seat had been stolen by electoral fraud.
WHEN WILL THE INTERIOR MINISTRY SAY ANYTHING?
The protesters’ anger – and others’ suspicions – were only magnified when the Interior Ministry fail to give any results until more than 24 hours after polls were scheduled to close.
Everyone had been expecting results to pour in quickly, even Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, who had less than a week before promised an “accelerated” process thanks to electronic vote counting.