By The Daily Star
Monday, November 22, 2010
BEIRUT: Elections to choose new candidates for the board of the Beirut Bar Association resulted in a tie between the March 8 and March 14 coalitions Sunday.
March 14-backed candidates Nader Kaspar and Samih Bcherawi won 1,779 and 1,593 votes respectively, while Free Patriotic Movement and Amal Movement candidates Fadi Barakat and Hussein Zbib came in third and fourth place with 1,541 and 1,272 votes.
Majed Fayyad, a March 14-backed candidate who came in fifth place, was elected alternate member of the council.
Political polarization marked the polls since the early hours of the election day, as partisans of the March 8 and March 14 coalitions attempted to draw independent voters to support their candidates, in a bid to mark their presence in one of the country’s largest syndicates.
While neither March 14 supporters nor March 8 advocates fully adhered to their coalition’s electoral list, it was noticeable that supporters of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) voted for Zbib, crossing out the March 14-backed Shiite candidate Majed Fayyad.
The PSP’s support came despite the fact the PSP nominated its own candidate Nada Talhouq, who ran on the March 14-backed candidate list.
Hizbullah-backed candidate Ibrahim Awadah withdrew his candidacy over the weekend in favor of Zbib after several rounds of negotiations between Amal and Hizbullah figures.
A statement released by Awadah said he withdrew “to preserve the unity and support the opposition backed list.”
The distribution of seats mirrored the results of the last elections.
The newly elected members said they would work to serve the bar’s interests away from political considerations.
The head of the order, Amal Haddad had assessed the bar’s achievements in the past year after opening the session for general assembly’s at 9 am at the Justice Palace, which was followed by two hours of voting. – The Daily Star