BEIRUT — Independent group Tahalof Watani — which includes Paula Yacoubian, the only independent candidate to win a seat in the 2018 parliamentary elections — announced Sunday its 13 candidates in parliamentary elections scheduled for May 15, which will be distributed over seven districts.
Here’s what we know:
• In Beirut I (eight seats), Tahalof Watani’s Brigitte Chalabian will run for the Armenian-Catholic seat. Yacoubian, Diana Ohanian and Magy Nanijian will vie for the three Armenian-Orthodox seats. Ziad Abi Chaker is seeking the district’s Maronite seat. In the constituency of Beirut II (11 seats), the group will be represented by Hani al-Ahmadieh, a candidate for the Druze seat, and Mahmoud Fakih, who will run for one of the two Shiite seats.
• Charbel Abou Jaoudeh is running for one of the Maronite seats in the Mount Lebanon II constituency, which includes eight seats. In Mount Lebanon III (6 seats), Ziad Akl is the group’s candidate for one of Baabda’s three Maronite seats. In Mount Lebanon IV, two candidates are running in the Chouf-Aley: Wael Ghandour for one of the two Sunni seats and Maadad Abou Ali for one of the four Druze seats.
• In North Lebanon II (10 seats), Tahalof Watani selected Carlos Nafaa for the Maronite seat, while Khaled Solh will run for one of the two Sunni seats in Bekaa III (10 seats).
• "The key to resolving the crisis affecting Lebanon is first of all the abolition of political sectarianism and the establishment of administrative decentralization," declared journalist and activist Youssef Mortada. He also said that Tahalof Watani's program is to fight corruption, to strengthen judicial independence, to put an end to quotas, to limit the legal possession of weapons to state institutions, to implement an economic recovery plan and to move forward with the investigation into the explosion of Aug. 4, 2020.
• During the 2018 legislative elections, only Paula Yacoubian was elected MP, while the party had supported 66 candidates.
• Very few lists have been announced so far, despite the fact that April 4 is candidates’ final date to form electoral lists and thus which candidates are legally eligible.