BEIRUT — Nader Gaspar was elected president of the Beirut Bar Association on Sunday after receiving 1,530 votes from members of the association. Gaspar was backed in the runup to the vote by the Free Patriotic Movement, the Future Movement and the Amal Movement, sources close to the parties told L’Orient Today.
Here’s what we know:
• Earlier on Sunday, the lawyers elected nine members to the Beirut Bar Association — none of whom were opposition candidates — in the first vote for the association in two years.
• The members elected to the council, which represents lawyers in all Lebanese areas except the north, were Imad Martinous, Nader Gaspard, Elias Bazrli, Abdo Lahoud, Alexander Najjar, Fadi Masri, Marwan Jabr, Wajih Massaad and Maya Zaghrani. They were selected from a group of 38 candidates, including a mix of independents and representatives of establishment parties.
• Gaspard had come in second in the race for the presidency in 2019, when he was supported by Future and the FPM, ultimately losing out to incumbent President Melhem Khalaf, who ran as an independent that year.
• The vote was the first election in two years for the attorneys’ association, as last year’s council vote was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Karim Nammour, a lawyer and researcher at the Legal Agenda, said the elections are significant, as they “can also be an indicator of the outcome of the upcoming parliamentary elections.”