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Lebanon Interior Minister Marwan Charbel announced Monday that Lebanese Forces candidate Fadi Karam won Sunday’s by-elections in the Koura district after he secured 12,412 votes.

Charbel, who was speaking during a press conference, added that Karam’s main rival, Syrian Socialist National Party candidate Walid al-Aazar gathered 11,141 votes.

The other contenders, Jean Mofrej and Naim al-Ajaili, received 311 and 94 votes.

Charbel told reporters that the Koura by-elections represented a “triumph of democracy” and congratulated the Internal Security Forces and Lebanese Army for the measures they adopted during the election process.

The special election in Koura was held on Sunday morning to elect a successor for Lebanese Forces bloc MP Farid Habib (1938-2012), who passed away on May 31 after a struggle with an illness.

The Lebanese Forces candidate was backed by the March 14 alliance, while the Syrian Social Nationalist Party candidate was backed by the Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah led March 8 alliance.

Following the announcement of the preliminary results last night, Lebanese forces leader Samir Geagea said: “The results speak for themselves and provide an indication on how the the results of the 2013 elections will be.”

Geagea added: “This is a victory for Koura and March 14 alliance and a defeat for SSNP and all March 8 alliance. “

The preliminary results were slightly different from the official results; 12507 for Karam against 11262 for Walid al-Aazar

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