ARF Lebanon Boycotts Beirut Elections

BEIRUT–Lebanon’s Armenian Revolutionary Federation Central Committee (ARF-CC) on Monday–effectively called for a boycott of the Beirut elections due to begin May 29.

The ARF–which enjoys widespread support among Beirut’s significant Armenian minority–held a special session to review recent–sudden developmen’s–including the exclusion of ARF candidates from Saad Hariri’s electoral list for Beirut’s three constituencies in the Lebanese general election. Hariri is the son of the slain former premier Rafik Hariri.

At a press conference organized by the party–ARF CC member Hovhannes Taslakian said that the list ignores those forces that hold actual political weight in Beirut. Hariri has also disregarded calls by various sectors of Lebanon’s community for the adoption of a new and more equitable electoral law.

In order to remedy the issue of unfair representation and to promote actual participation in the electoral process–the ARF said in its statement it would spare no efforts to seek a lawful and political resolution to reforming that law.

The statement also says the party will oppose biased policy that rejects certain sides and opinions that are–in fact–based on democratic principals.

As a result–the ARF has decided to boycott the Beirut elections–and called on supporters to do the same. The party hopes to send a strong message that it rejects those candidates put forth by Hariri because they represent the smallest sector of Lebanon’s Armenian community–and not the majority will.

Taslakian told reporters the Hariri does not want to take into consideration individuals based on their faction or party affiliation–which suggests that he does not want to deal with political parties–but individuals.

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