Hizbullah-FPM Electoral Negotiations Reportedly Collapse

Hizbullah and the Free Patriotic Movement may not be on the same electoral lists in the upcoming parliamentary elections, a media report said.

“Negotiations over several districts have collapsed,” al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Monday.

It said the dispute had started in the Keserwan-Jbeil district, “after Hizbullah nominated Sheikh Hussein Zoaiter, its top official in the Mount Lebanon and the North regions.”

“The FPM, especially its leader Jebran Bassil and incumbent MP Simon Abi Ramia, were dismayed by the move,” the newspaper added.

“When we are strong, no one can impose a candidate on us,” Bassil has said from the Jbeil district town of Lassa.

Al-Liwaa said the “electoral divorce” between the two political allies is likely to affect most districts in Mount Lebanon, Baalbek-Hermel, Zahle and Western Bekaa.

“The first indication of the electoral clash or competition was represented by a Hizbullah official's remarks that the party is inclined to hit back at Bassil by forming an independent list in Keserwan-Jbeil and nominating ex-MP Tarek Habshi in Baalbek-Hermel,” al-Liwaa added, quoting an unnamed Hizbullah official.

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