Candidates declare for Lebanon election


Related article : Two more seats clinched days before Lebanon poll

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Lebanon’s Interior Ministry says 51 candidates will be competing to win 21 seats representing south Lebanon in the 128-member Lebanese parliament.

The Saturday announcement was made after the midnight deadline for candidates to submit their applications.

Two candidates, notably Bahiya Hariri, the sister of slain former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and Osama Saad, a member of the Popular Nasserite Party, were uncontested, leaving 21 seats for competition.

So far, 11 candidates have won uncontested seats, including nine representing Beirut and figuring on the electoral list of Saad Hariri, the son of the slain premier.

A coalition list comprising candidates from the Shiite groups Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, which is led by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, is expected to win easily.

The election in south Lebanon is slated for June 5. The four-phase general elections are to begin May 29 in Beirut and will continue for three successive Sundays.