Elections to the Beirut Bar… and the division is in control

November 21, 2021

Paula Esteh wrote in the Middle East:

The electoral scene at the Beirut Bar, a few hours before the election of 9 members to the Bar Council, in addition to a new president, is still murky, so many parties appear weakened, considering that most of them have not officially announced the names of their candidates or the personalities they will support, as party ranks attest. The opposition was sharply divided after all attempts to run for office with a unified list failed.

7,240 lawyers affiliated to the Union who have paid their annual dues are entitled to participate in today’s (Sunday) elections, in which 38 candidates are vying for membership in the Union Council and 9 for the post of President . This union was the first to adopt the candidate of the uprising of October 17, 2019, the current captain, Melhem Khalaf, elected a month after the start of the protests. However, the division that operates today between the “revolutionary groups” threatens the feat they achieved two years ago. The opposition is running for election with two lists; The former is supported by the “opposition front”, which includes the “Lebanese Phalanx Party” and a number of groups, and has approved the appointment of lawyer Alexander Najjar for the post of captain in addition to 7 others. lawyers for union membership. Advice. As for the second list in the name of “Our union”, it is supported by about twenty groups of October 17, and it approved the nominations of lawyers Ramzi Heikal and Moussa Khoury as captain, in addition to four other candidates. to become a member of the Board.

An advocate active in favor of the “Our Union” list indicated that “the main active opposition groups support this list,” stressing in a statement to “Asharq Al-Awsat” that “the failure to unite the ranks of the The opposition is caused by the insistence of other opposition parties to adopt a candidate who does not match our ambitions. As a revolutionary, the first thing he did after announcing his candidacy was to visit the political leaders. The lawyer, who preferred to remain anonymous, added: “We are fighting the system in form and substance, and we do not believe that a candidate who seeks to appease political forces before being elected be able to face them in fateful issues, such as the port explosion and the recovery of depositors’ money, civil liberties and others.
In contrast, Kataeb sources blamed “one of the leaders of the October 17 uprising, who is also a lawyer,” responsible for the failure of the opposition union in the election of lawyers, explaining to Asharq Al- Awsat that “things were going to compete with a candidate for captain, but all the groups You know who broke the deal.”

Lawyer Ramzi Haykal, candidate for captain, considers that “the right of opposition to more than one candidate confirms the existence of new transformative thinking, and most importantly that we succeed as a group. able to make change decisions. , whether at the trade union or national level “, assuring” Asharq Al-Awsat “that” all the trade unions will successively take you out of the hands of the corrupt power system “.
As for the parties, most of them have not officially announced the names of their candidates, leaving supporters the freedom to choose. While forces sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that they supported party candidate Maya Zaghrini for union membership and independent candidate Abdo Lahoud for captain, Free Patriotic Movement sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the party candidate supported Fadi Barakat for membership and the independent Nader Kaspar for the post of captain.
As for the sources of the Progressive Socialist Party, they confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the party did not decide to nominate or support anyone, and that “if a party participates in the elections, there is no specific leadership at all. . Those who participate will act as counsel and make whatever choice they see fit.
For their part, sources of “Al-Mustaqbal” told Asharq Al-Awsat that the current had not yet decided on its candidates, “since the consultations are still in place, and that it will take its decision with the start of the electoral process ”.
Bar sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that a number of parties would support Nader Kaspar for the captain post, noting that everyone has refused to officially announce it so far.

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