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    Lebanon: Political Parties Begin Preparations for Next Year’s Parliamentary Race

    A year before the parliamentary elections of May 2022, most political parties and civil society groups began preparing for the electoral race, which constitutes a great challenge for the ruling parties, after the October 17, 2019 uprising, the August 4 explosion, and the ongoing financial and economic collapse.

    With the exception of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), all the main parties asserted that they have already started electoral preparations, despite talks about a possible postponement of parliamentary and presidential elections in 2022.

    PSP MP Bilal Abdallah said that his party has not started preparing for the elections, pointing out that party members and partisans were mobilized to help people face the Covid-19 pandemic and the deteriorating economic and social conditions.

    “Until now, there is no direction to prepare for the elections, and I believe that whoever works on the electoral race lives in another world, given that if the current situation continues, there will be no country, and no minister or deputy will be of use,” Abdallah told Asharq Al-Awsat.

    On the other hand, MP Asaad Dargham, a member of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), said that his party began working “on the basis that the elections would be held on time.”

    “I think it is too early to talk about the slogans of our electoral campaign… After the economic and financial crises and after the October 2019 protests, all parties must reformulate their discourse and project,” the FPM deputy stated.

    Charles Jabbour, head of the media apparatus in the Lebanese Forces, noted that his party was always on alert to prepare for the elections, which he described as “the only means for change during peacetime.”

    For his part, the general coordinator of elections in the Future Movement, Fadi Saad, pointed to “permanent and continuous work for the parliamentary elections.”

    “We are preparing for them on the basis of the electoral law on which the last elections were held, even if we still hope for the holding of early elections,” he said.

    Saad continued: “There are some forces who wish that the elections never take place, fearing a decline in their popularity. As for us, we adhere to the polls regardless of the results, because they are an essential door to the renewal of power, and it is the right of the people to hold their representatives accountable.”

    As for the Shiite duo, which is represented by Hezbollah and Amal Movement, sources said that the latter had begun preparations a month ago and “named a central figure in each region to form a group that would launch the actual work on the ground.”

    “The upcoming elections will pose a real challenge for us, in light of the work of civil society groups and the NGOs. At the end of the day, were have partisans that are committed to us, but the majority is not, and here lies the main challenge to push these people to vote for us,” the source from the Shiite duo told Asharq Al-Awsat.

    Source: Beirut- Paula Astih

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