Polls opened in the fourth and final round of municipal and mukhtar elections in North Lebanon and Akkar Sunday.

The Interior Ministry said that 5,976 candidates will be running for seats in 273 municipal councils and 1,553 candidates will be running for 740 mayoral seats, Naharnet reported.

Some 580,095 voters are registered in the North and 269,910 are registered in Akkar.

As in the previous votes that have taken place in the country each Sunday since May 8, thousands of police and soldiers were deployed at polling stations in case violence occurs.

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq had followed up on the various administrative, security, and logistic preparations to ensure that the elections will be held without incident.

The ministry urged candidates to respect the laws linked to the polls and security forces to combat any form of bribery.

In Tripoli, three lists are competing in the city. The “For Tripoli” list is backed by former prime ministers Saad Hariri and Najib Mikati, ex-minister Faysal Karami and some Islamist groups, according to the Daily Star.

The “Tripoli’s Choice” list is backed by resigned Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi, a Tripoli native who recently split from his allies in the Future Movement. Former MP Misbah al-Ahdab is backing the “Tripoli Capital” ticket.

A calm atmosphere prevailed over the voting in Zgharta, the heartland of the Marada Movement and the Independence Movement, headed by the Frangieh and Mouawad families, respectively.

In Qobeiyat, one of the largest Maronite towns in Akkar governorate, Future MP Hadi Hobeish has expressed his support for the “Qobeiyat Decides” list headed by current mayor Abdo Abdo. The list also has the backing of the Kataeb Party and former MP Mikhael al-Daher.

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It is facing off against the “Qobeiyat’s People” ticket, supported by the Lebanese Forces and Free Patriotic Movement.

 

NNA

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