Hezbollah thugs blamed for attacking Lebanese election candidate

A candidate in Lebanon’s May 6 parliamentary election was treated in hospital on Sunday after  he was  reportedly  attacked by “thugs” belonging to Hezbollah.

Ali Al Amin, who is running for a Shiite seat in southern Lebanon, said he was attacked while putting up campaign posters in his home village of Shaqra, near the city of Bint Jbeil.

Hezbollah is the dominant political force in southern Lebanon and, in an alliance with the Amal party, swept all the Shiite seats in the area in the last parliamentary election in 2009. Lebanon’s parliamentary seats are apportioned according to sect.

ali al amine
Ali Al Amine is a candidate for the May 6 elections in Lebanon in the 3rd southern district (South Lebanon. III- Nabatiyah, Bint Jbeil and Marjeyoun-Hasbaya). He was attacked in his home village of Chaqra which is north of Bint Jbeil and west of the Israeli border. He was apparently attacked by dozens (reports say 40) while hanging banners for his campaign. He was taken to Tibnin hospital. He claimed that the assault was carried out by Hezbollah activists. “My whole body has been hit by a bunch of thugs, and this is what I put on the face of the president and the election watchdog,” he said.

Mr Al Amin is journalist who runs the janoubia.com website and is an outspoken critic of Hezbollah.

He described the attack in a video posted on his Facebook page on Sunday afternoon, saying said he was set upon by a group of more than 30 “Hezbollah thugs” who left him with a broken tooth.

Imad Koumayha, another candidate from Mr Al Amin’s list, called on Lebanese President Michel Aoun and the General Security Directorate to investigate the attack.

“We want justice,” Mr Koumayha, who was at the hospital with Mr Al Amin, told The National.

Hezbollah “does not accept other political opinions”, he said.

Last month, an election candidate in the city of Baalbek, in eastern Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, accused Hezbollah of framing him on drug charges and shooting at his driver. The candidate, Abbas Al Jawhari, has since withdrawn from the race.

Mr Al Amin insisted he would stay in the election.

Al-Amine’s electoral list, ‘Shbaana Haki’ (Enough With Talking), which is comprised of independent Shiite figures and a Lebanese Forces candidate, slammed the incident as a “blatant and demeaning attack.”

“This reflects the confusion of the de facto forces and their rejection of any change in their regions,” the alliance said.

“This incident won’t affect us, we’re still going to run. But we want the world to see what kind of elections will be held under Hezbollah,” Mr Koumayha,  told Agence France-Presse.

The National /YL