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Army: Will Show No Leniency with Attempts to Disrupt Municipal Elections

The Lebanese army said on Friday that it took the needed security measures to help the smooth operation of the upcoming municipal elections in Beirut and Bekaa-al-Hermel, the Army Command Orientation Directorate said in a statement on Friday.

“On the occasion of holding the municipal and mayoral elections that are set to be held in Beirut and Bekaa on May 8, army units have deployed in these two governorates to ensure the safety of the electoral process, and enable the citizens to safely and democratically express their views at the ballot boxes,” said the statement.

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Hariri Meets Rahi, Talks Highlight Need to End Presidential Vacuum

Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader MP Saad Hariri met with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Friday in Bkirki where talks touched on the necessity to end the presidential vacuum.

“The Patriarch did not name anyone for the post of the presidency. He is democratic and urges all parties not to obstruct the election process and to attend the parliament session to elect a head of state,” said Hariri after the meeting.

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Three Injured in Bourj al-Barajneh as Assailants Open Fire from Vehicle

Three people from the same family were injured in Beirut's southern suburb of Bourj al-Barajneh when gunmen in a moving vehicle opened fire at them, the National News Agency said on Friday.

Unknown assailants in a vehicle opened fire from a pump-action rifle, which led to the injury of three people from the al-Annan family, NNA said.

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Report: Senior Politician Anticipates 'Imminent' Election of a President

A prominent Lebanese official said that it is likely for the Lebanese to “sleep one day to wake up and find that a president has been elected,” As Safir daily reported on Friday.

“I am certain that we are now slowly approaching the end of the vacuum at the top state post. The coming summer could be a stage of setting the foundation for the election of a president next autumn,” said the senior politician on condition of anonymity.

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Report: Formal Request to Prosecute Ministry Employees in Illegal Internet File

The Financial General Prosecutor sent Thursday afternoon a request related to the illegal internet file to Telecommunications Minister Butros Harb asking for permission to pursuit some of the employees at his ministry, particularly OGERO employees, after the minister objected to the form addressed earlier, al-Joumhouria daily quoted prominent judicial sources on Friday.

During a parliamentary media committee meeting on Thursday, Harb noted that the request to prosecute some of the staff at his ministry did not respect the norms nor did it include the necessary investigations on which he can build his decision upon.

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Mayoral and Municipal Lists in Zahle Win Elections Uncontested

As the municipal and mayoral elections loom with the first round to kick off in the capital Beirut and the Bekaa-al-Hermel districts, 20 towns in the eastern town of Zahle witnessed uncontested victory of several municipal and mayoral lists, the state-run National News Agency said on Wednesday.

The towns that won the mayoral seats by acclamation are listed as follows: Hosh al-Ghanam, Chtaura, Wadi al-Arayish, al-Rasieh al-Fawqa, Raite, Deir al-Ghazal, Hay el-Sellom, Tal al-Akhdar, al-Ferzol al-Fawqa, Masa, Hay al-Sayydeh, al-Tawaiti, Wadi al-Delm and Anjar (Hay al-Waqf, Yoghon Olouk, Haji Jbeili, Betyas, Khodr Beik and Kabusieh).

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Report: Patriarch Rahi Pays Nasrallah a Visit

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi has allegedly visited Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah a couple of weeks ago following a meeting he held with the French President Francois Hollande during his trip to Lebanon, al-Akhbar daily reported on Wednesday.

The daily quoted March 14 sources as saying that the two officials discussed the vacuum at the presidential post in light of a recent proposal to shorten the presidential term from six to two years as a temporary solution.

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Report: FPM Might not Withdraw from Beirut Municipal List

Efforts are ongoing to “deal” with the conditions set by the Free Patriotic Movement to get twelve mayoral posts instead of eight for its candidates in the municipal elections that are set to take place in Beirut on Sunday, An Nahar daily reported on Wednesday.

“Things will not reach a dead end and the FPM will not withdraw from the 'Beirutis List',” unnamed sources told the daily on condition of anonymity.

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Report: No Controversial Files on Wednesday’s Cabinet Agenda

The cabinet is set to convene Wednesday afternoon to tackle several pending issues on its agenda but it does not include the controversial file of the State Security agency, An Nahar daily reported.

The cabinet's agenda includes 65 items and 116 draft-laws. It will not discuss the file of the State Security agency until Prime Minister Tammam Salam, who was tasked with finding a solution to the leadership rift between the agency’s chief and his deputy, concludes his mission.

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Bassil: Most Successful Foreign Policies are Independent Ones

Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil remarked on Tuesday that the existence of several foreign policies yields lack of national unity, reported the National News Agency.

He said: “This has resulted in the creation of such jokes as the policy of disassociation, which is aimed at evading disputes.”

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