Pressure forces a third Shiite candidate to withdraw
Hezbollah continues to put pressure on Shiite candidates opposed to it and supporters of the “Lebanese Forces” and its leader, Samir Geagea, with the aim of encircling them and pushing them to withdraw from the scheduled electoral battle after about two weeks.
These pressures appear in particular in the party’s areas of influence, as in the district of Baalbek-Hermel (the third Bekaa), where the “forces” party is waging the battle against the Shiite duo, (“Hezbollah” and the Amal Movement), the last of which was what happened yesterday with the announcement of the candidate Rifaat. Al-Masry withdrew after he was preceded by two candidates from the Shiite sect, while the remaining candidates confirm that they will continue the confrontation. Al-Masri was a candidate on the “Building the State” list, which includes Sunni, Shiite and Christian figures headed by Sheikh Abbas Al-Gohari, who is known for his opposition to the Shiite duo.
Al-Masry justified his withdrawal from the battle by saying that it came “at the request of the honorable family and in accordance with its desire and my convictions to get out of this electoral competition, which will not lead to the purpose of reform in a country where sectarian and sectarian quotas control.” He said: “We are the sons of a resistance family, father and grandfather, with a political legacy and a long history, and as long as the Israeli enemy continues with its aggression and arrogance against Lebanon, we are united with the Lebanese resistance and with us the vast majority of the Lebanese people.”
Sources in the “forces” told Asharq Al-Awsat that al-Masry’s withdrawal, like those who preceded him, is the result of the pressures on the opponents of the “Shiite duo.”