First Published: 2018-03-07

Record number of women register to run in Lebanon election
Among candidates are high-profile journalist Paula Yaacoubian, civil society activist Nayla Geagea, lawyer and one-time presidential candidate Nadine Moussa.
Middle East Online

Officials speak during conference on women participation in politics in Beirut, Lebanon.

BEIRUT - A record number of women are among nearly 1,000 candidates who have registered to stand in Lebanon's first legislative elections in nine years, state media reported on Wednesday.

A total of 976 people announced their candidacies for 128 parliamentary seats before registration for the May 6 poll closed late Tuesday, the state-run National News Agency said.

They include 111 women, the NNA reported, citing the interior ministry which manages elections.

That marks a sharp increase compared with the previous legislative election in 2009 when just 12 women were among 706 candidates who took part.

Among the female candidates are high-profile journalist Paula Yaacoubian, civil society activist and first-time candidate Nayla Geagea, and lawyer and one-time presidential candidate Nadine Moussa.

Lebanon's political scene has long been divided between a bloc led by Iran-backed Shiite movement Hezbollah and another Saudi-aligned camp headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Sunni politician.

Lebanon recognises 18 official religious sects and its parliamentary seats are divided equally between Muslims and Christians, an arrangement unique in the region.

The May 6 vote will be the first test of Lebanon's new proportional electoral law which was agreed on in 2017 after years of wrangling among Lebanon's various political factions.

It replaces the existing plurality voting system with proportional representation and reduces the number of electoral districts to 15.

In each district, seats are distributed among the different religious communities living there.

Competition is expected to be fierce in several areas, including one district in Beirut where 117 people are running for 11 seats.

Candidates must run in lists, which are to be finalised and announced by March 26, and have paid eight million Lebanese pounds (more than $5,000) to register.


Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Abbas calls US ambassador to Israel 'son of a dog'

UN says Turkey security measures 'curtail human rights'

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

Netanyahu says African migrants threaten Jewish majority

US Senate votes on involvement in Yemen war as Saudi prince visits

What a ‘limited strike’ against Syria’s Assad might mean

Natural gas in eastern Mediterranean fuels increasing tensions

Erdogan tells US to stop ‘deceiving’, start helping on Syria

IS controls Damascus district in surprise attack

French ex-president held over Libya financing allegations

NGO says Israeli army violating Palestinian minors’ rights

Human rights chief slams Security Council for inaction on Syria

US warns Turkey over civilians caught in Syria assault

Saudi crown prince keen to cement ties with US

Erdogan vows to expand Syria op to other Kurdish-held areas

Kurdish envoy accuses foreign powers of ignoring Turkish war crimes

Morocco authorities vow to close Jerada's abandoned mines

Israeli soldier sees manslaughter sentence slashed

Turkey insists no plans to remain in Afrin

Cairo voters show unwavering support for native son Sisi

Forum in Jordan explores new teaching techniques

Gaza Strip woes receive renewed attention but no fix is expected

Kurds, Syrian opposition condemn Afrin looting

36 jihadists killed in Egypt’s Sinai

Israel arrests French consulate worker for gun smuggling

Pro-Turkish forces loot Afrin

Israel prepares to demolish Jerusalem attacker's home

Saudi crown prince says his country to seek nuclear bomb if Iran does

Arab women artists in diaspora focus on identity and loss

Tunisia’s Central Bank targets inflation but may hurt growth prospects

Libya’s health system reflects a larger humanitarian crisis

Israel blasts Gaza underground tunnel

Abu Dhabi awards France's Total stakes in oil concessions