Lebanese Forces candidate Fadi Karam won Koura’s by-election on Sunday, according to unofficial results.
The elections kicked
off at 7:00 am, amid tight security measures, to fill in the vacant Greek-Orthodox seat of late MP Farid Habib.
The ballot boxes were closed at 7:00 p.m. pending official results to be announced in the upcoming hours.
Official sources confirmed to LBCI that Koura’s
final voter turnout stood at 47%.
Six candidates - Jean Mfarej, Naim al-Ojaimi,
Fadi Karam, Walid Al-Azar, Youssef Skaff and George Mattar- ran for the
The voting process started on scheduled time across all poll stations expect for the one established at Amioun' s public
school that served the villages of Balghoun, Badboun and western Amioun.
During a press conference in Amioun’s Serail, Interior
Minister Marwan Charbel confirmed that elections were running smoothly at different
He stressed that any information on
electoral bribes should be reported to the interior ministry, hoping that the electoral day
will pass without any security breaches.
After casting his vote
in Amioun, Lebanese Forces candidate Fadi Karam stated that “the official results will be final once the ballot
boxes are closed at the end of the day”.
After taking a tour of poll stations, Karam voiced
satisfaction with the increasing voter turnout, adding that “democracy has
triumphed over smear campaigns.”
"Koura’s residents refuse to [sell their votes]", he confirmed to LBCI, accusing the other party of committing violations by exerting pressure on the people.
In turn, Syrian Social
Nationalist Party’s candidate Walid al-Azar cast his vote, expressing contentment with the atmosphere prevailing over elections "despite all violations and
pressures". He also pointed out that “huge amounts of political money are being poured into
these elections; thus it is no longer a democratic [game]”.
Al-Azar expected that he
will win with a significant margin.
For his part, MP Antoine Zahra said that the LF is following
up on the electoral process very closely, expecting that the voter turnout will
Deputy Parliament Speaker Farid Makari
said, after casting his vote, that Karam proved that he deserves
the votes of Koura’s residents amid a battle between a Lebanese team and a team
representing Hezbollah, Iran and the Syrian regime.
In this context, Defense
Minister Fayez Ghosn cast his vote in the town of Kousba and noted that the electoral process is taking
place in a calm atmosphere thanks to tight security measures in the
He later denied through LBCI allegations that the LAF is
interfering in Koura’s by-election.