ARF Lebanon Pulls Candidates Independent Candidates Follow Suit

LEBANON–Following its calls to local Armenia’s to withhold from voting in the Beirut parliamentary elections–Lebanon’s Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) pulled its two candidates from Beirut’s third constituency race to protest the snubbing of Beirut’s majority of Armenia’s.

Saad Hariri–son of the slain former premier Rafik Hariri–on Sunday announced his electoral list for Beirut’s constituencies; though four Armenian seats are vacant–Hariri excluded the two candidates put forth by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)–which enjoys extensive support among Beirut’s significant Armenian minority.

On Monday–the party called on its supporters in Beirut to boycott the Beirut elections because the Armenian candidates put forth by Hariri represent the smallest sector of Lebanon’s Armenian community–and not the majority will.

The party called the decision to pull its two candidates Stepan Der Bedrossian and Jacques Chookhadarian from the race–a "logical subsequent step" to boycotting the elections–since the ARF’s candidates would have garnered victories–considering the party’s influence in the area.

In a symbolic move–independent candidates from Beirut’s first and second constituencies–Haigaz Yardemian and Abraham Matossian–also pulled out of the race to show that Hariri’s four Armenian candidates will be legally elected–but not with Armenian votes.

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