The candidates of the the “Beirut Marinate” list announced on Tuesday that they received 40% of the vote in the capital’s municipal polls and denied claims that they received votes from certain political parties.
“Our list confronted the ruling class and all its parties and managed to secure 40 percent of the vote – votes that would have allowed ten of its members to join the municipal council had the electoral law been fair and proportional,” the head of the list, Ibrahim Mneimneh, announced during a press conference.
The announcement was made shortly after the official results were released after significant delay.
Decrying what they called “major violations, delay in the counting of votes and the attempt to annul some ballots,” Beirut Marinate candidtes said the efforts of its representatives, lawyers and the registration committees’ judges had managed to “regain some of the uncounted votes.”
“The Beirut Madinati campaign has restored the meaning of elections and gave hope to the youths who struggled against the stinking trash that had trumpeted the bankruptcy of the ruling class,” the Beirut Marinate added.
“Do not believe the ruling class. Our list did not garner these votes from a single sect or electoral district. The votes that Beirut Madinati received came from all districts and sects, seeing as we are advocates of civil, democratic and non-sectarian action that was embraced by voters from all religious communities in Beirut,” Beirut Madinati added.
Hitting back at remarks by al-Mustaqbal movement leader and former PM Saad Hariri, who backed the rival Beirutis List, Beirut Madinati called on the public opinion to believe “allegations that our list was supported by parties that are represented in the government.”
“The rejection of this ruling class’ practices and corruption is what pushed some people to bravely liberate themselves from the directions of political leaders and to vote for the civil choice,” Beirut Madinati explained.
“In light of the results of the polls, we warn the new municipal council against continuing the practices of distributing shares, deforming the city’s landmarks, displacing its residents, selling its beaches, and neglecting its roads, sidewalks, parks and squares,” Beirut Madinati added.
Beirut Madinati also pledged that it will remain vigilant in order to “protect the public interest and monitor the municipal council’s performance.”
On Monday, Hariri accused some parties who nominated some candidates in Beirutis List of “voting for other lists.”
“This could have undermined equal Christian-Muslim representation and it is something that is not honorable in political action or electoral coalitions,” the former PM said.
The Future Movement-backed Beirutis List included candidates that were nominated by several political parties that are represented in the government and parliament, such as the AMAL Movement, the Free Patriotic Movement, the Lebanese Forces, PSP, the Phalange Party and the Tashnag Party.
Beirut Madinati’s program to attract frustrated voters had included plans to improve public transport in the traffic-clogged capital, introduce more green spaces, make housing affordable and implement a lasting waste management program.
Turnout was low in the capital on Sunday with only 20 percent of registered voters casting votes, according to the Interior Ministry.
MP Michel Aoun founder and former leader of Free Patriotic Movement vowed to “hold accountable” those responsible for the “intifada” within the party, a source close to movement leader Gebran Bassil told al-Liwaa newspaper.
This development comes after a dispute erupted during the weekend’s municipal elections between leading FFM members Asharq al-Awsat daily reported on Tuesday.
Informed sources told the daily that the FPM leadership is studying the possibility of expelling some 20 members, including leading official Ziad Abs, for “rebelling against the movement’s decisions.”
Abs is a leading FPM figure in Beirut. The dispute erupted over his opposition to the FPM’s alliance in the elections with Future Movement chief MP Saad Hariri. The dispute pitted him against former FPM minister Nicolas Sehnaoui, explained al-Joumhouria newspaper.
According to some repots the FPM supporters may have voted for “Citizens In A State” list of which former Labor Minister Charbel Nahas is a member. Charbel used to be a key member of FPM before he resigned in 2012.