Large turnout for lebanses vote Essay

This essay has a total of 802 words and 5 pages.

Large turnout for lebanses vote

Many voters returned to their hometowns in Mount Lebanon, the country's most populous
province, and to the Bekaa Valley to cast their ballots in the third of four rounds of
staggered parliamentary elections, the first free of the dominance of Syrian forces in
nearly three decades.


Anti-Syrian forces need a strong showing in Sunday's vote -- at least 45 seats for a
majority -- to win a firm grasp on the 128-member Parliament and wean it of Damascus'
control. But the campaign has led to some surprising alliances and some races were too
close to call.


Lines formed outside polling stations in Mount Lebanon, a mountain region surrounding
Beirut and stretching north and south of the city.


Halfway through the voting, turnout topped 50 percent in some areas, Prime Minister Najib Mikati said.

Michel Aoun, who recently broke with other opponents of Damascus and forged alliances with
pro-Syrian politicians to form an anti-corruption ticket, was among the first to vote. He
arrived under heavy guard at a polling station Haret Hreik, a Shiite Muslim southern
suburb of Beirut that is the stronghold of the pro-Syrian militant group Hezbollah.


About 200 supporters cheered and applauded for the Christian leader, who returned home in
May after 14 years' exile in France.


Aoun, who was making his first trip to his hometown in more than 20 years, said he hoped
his Free Patriotic Movement would debut in Parliament with at least 12 seats. "In the end,
we all bow before the people's will," he told reporters.


The former general was the main challenger of the anti-Syrian opposition in Mount Lebanon
and his success could hurt the opposition's drive to gain a majority in the legislature
and, depending on the number of seats he gains, could make him a key player in the effort
to end Syrian control.


Druse opposition leader Walid Jumblatt, who has claimed that pro-Syrians brought Aoun out
of exile to divide the opposition, pledged not to allow the former general "to steal our
victory."

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  • Lebanon
    Lebanon The republic of Lebanon, located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is bordered in the north and east by Syria, and bounded by Israel on the south. One of the smaller countries in the Middle East, Lebanonís area measures 4036 square miles. The country is 135 miles long, and its width is only 50 miles at its widest point. About 89% of Lebanonís 3,619,971 citizens live in urban areas. Beirut has regained most of its prewar population and is still the country\'s largest city. Th
  • Lebanon
    Lebanon The republic of Lebanon, located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is bordered in the north and east by Syria, and bounded by Israel on the south. One of the smaller countries in the Middle East, Lebanonís area measures 4036 square miles. The country is 135 miles long, and its width is only 50 miles at its widest point. About 89% of Lebanonís 3,619,971 citizens live in urban areas. Beirut has regained most of its prewar population and is still the country\'s largest city. Th