Unity Bloc Outnumbered by Hariri Slate

BEIRUT (Aztag)–The second round of parliamentary elections took place in Beirut and surrounding region Sunday–with George Kassardji becoming the only candidate from the six-person United Armenian Bloc list to register a victory. He joins Sebouh Hovnanian who was reelected last week in the races in mountainous Beirut which include Bourdj Hammoud and Metn.

The political and financial power machine of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri registered victories in almost all the districts–leaving the Untied bloc outnumbered almost 10 to 1.

Reports indicated that more than 80 percent of Armenian voters–cast their votes for the United Armenian Bloc–however–those votes fell short of numbers gained from other groups voting in the elections.

The elections proved that in a climate of constant changing political affiliations and election-time agreemen’s–the Armenian people remains committed to its principles of emerging as a united front and will continue to advocate for rallying behind the national aspirations of the people and the Armenian community.

Deputy prime minister and interior minister Michel Mur–who last week won his election in alliance with the United Armenian Bloc announced the official results Monday–in his capacity as interior minister.

"The Armenian Revolutionary Federation is a disciplined organization–which has represented the interests of the Lebanese Armenian community since [Lebanon’s] independence. Today it [the ARF] has two members of parliament and that is a great loss," said Mur during the press conference.

"The ARF was competing in such an electoral district–where the majority of the voters were Sunni Muslim supporters of former prime minister Rafik Hariri. That is why the ARF lost. However–the ARF was the victor in garnering the Armenian votes–since it received 7,700 votes against 1,700–which means that Armenia’s have voted for the ARF slate," explained the interior minister.

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