Hariri gains 8 Beirut seats 11 days before poll

May 18, 2005

Several challengers quit after Hariri declared his list on Sunday. Candidates withdrawing 10 days before the poll recover half the 10-million Lebanese pound ($6,700) registration fee.

Hariri’s death sparked huge street protests which, along with international pressure, forced Syria to end its 29-year military presence in Lebanon. Many Lebanese blame Syria or its local security allies for the killing. Damascus denies any role.