Hariri Electoral List Offends Majority of Lebanon’s Armenia’s

BEIRUT (AFP/Aztagdaily)–Saad Hariri–son of the slain former premier Rafiq Hariri–on Sunday announced his electoral list for Beirut’s three constituencies in the Lebanese general election due to begin May 29.

Hariri announced 19 candidates for the city’s 19 seats–of which 10 are Christian and the rest Muslim.

These include candidates for the four Armenian seats–but exclude the two candidates put forth by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)–which has widespread support among Beirut’s significant Armenian minority.

"The list fails to consider the will of Lebanon’s majority of Armenia’s," writes Beirut based Aztag Armenian newspaper "This deprivation of just rights counters the premise for creating national unity based on a balanced approach–to include the varies sectors of Lebanon’s communities.

Leading up to the release of the electoral list–ARF officials held several deliberations with key officials–including Hariri–so that the Armenian community of Lebanon would be properly represented.

Calling the move "surprising and offensive" the paper also calls into question approaches to certain sectors of the Armenian community.

Hariri’s list includes Solange Gemayel–widow of slain president and Christian warlord Bashir Gemayel–who will be the only candidate for Beirut’s Maronite Christian seat–and Shiite movement Hezbollah’s Amin Sherri for one of the two Shiite seats.

A key ally of Hariri’s father and a former justice minister–Bahige Tabbara–is to stand for one of six Sunni seats.

Other candidates on the Hariri list are the same as those who stood in the last elections in 2000 in support of his father.

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