domenica 7 giugno 2009

Si vota anche in Libano

Polls opened Sunday to elect a new 128-member parliament in Lebanon, in what was described as a decisive moment to determine the country's future alliances. The election pits the current Western-backed ruling majority against the Hezbollah coalition back by Iran and Syria. Some 587 candidates are expected to compete in a tight race for the favour of Lebanon's 3.2 million eligible votes. Observers are expecting a close race, with only few seats to separate the two rival factions. The voting started at 7 am (0400 GMT) in some 5,200 polling stations across Lebanon. The polls are scheduled to close at 7 pm (1600 GMT). According to Lebanese army sources some 55,000 soldiers and internal security police have been deployed across the country to ensure a safe atmosphere for voters. Lebanese Interior Minister Ziad Baroud hoped Sunday that the election will take place without any security breaches. More than 200 international observers are overseeing the election. Initial results are expected to be announced officially on Monday. Former US president Jimmy Carter, who is leading a team of election observers, said he hoped both camps will accept the results of the poll regardless of the outcome. The head of Lebanon's Christian community, Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir, warned Saturday that Lebanon is facing a threat as an entity and to its Arab identity. "National duty calls on all of us to be aware of what is being planned. We must work hard on thwarting all attempts that if successful could change the face of Lebanon," he said. The warning reflected fears that if Hezbollah wins the election, it would increase the influence of Syria and Iran, and marginalize the Christians.
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