The changing culture of election campaigns in Lebanon

Even if independent candidates don’t win big on election day, they are already having an impact on Lebanese political culture. They have introduced new styles of campaigning that come as a sharp contrast to how politics is commonly practiced in Lebanon. While establishment politicians deploy …

New and old ways of practicing Lebanese politics

In a space of a few hours, one can witness two radically different visions for Beirut’s future. On a recent afternoon, under the shade of ficus trees, a town hall meeting was held by Beirut Madinati, the new political collective comprised of activists and urban …

Who needs change? Lebanon’s youth parties waive off reform

For decades, Lebanese politics has been ruled by a small group of men. So why not get some fresh faces in government? This seemed to be the underlying subtext of a United Nations report on youth in politics, released earlier this week to a small …

Protestors pelt MPs with tomatoes: in pictures

In defiance of parliament’s decision to renew its term this afternoon– and thus delay elections for over a year– protestors pelted MPs cars as they left Nejmeh Square. Tomatoes rained down on the black tinted luxury vehicles. Some attached protest stickers, others pounded the hood. …

Election steal? Minister tells independent candidates ‘sue us’

From right: Independent candidates Elias Abou Mrad and Nadine Moussa at protest earlier this month.  During a private meeting at his office today, Lebanon’s interior minister Marwan Charbel rejected a request that he declare victory of independent candidates in uncontested parliamentary races, candidates who attended …

Did independent candidates win the elections?

Nadine Moussa, left, is one of 49 candidates who claim to have won a parliamentary seat by default.  Parliamentary elections are not expected to take place until later this summer–if then– but dozens of independent candidates are already declaring victory. This is because the raging …

Trouble in Byzantium… again

It’s that time of month again. What’s wrong with those crazy Lebanese? Time magazine tells all in another lifeless, encyclopedic entry. And why wouldn’t they. Lebanon–all of it– should be explained in a single article because it’s just a small country anyway. Poor Lebanese though. According …

In pictures: rally against ‘Orthodox’ law

Hours after Lebanon’s most blatantly sectarian electoral law passed a parliamentary committee, a crowd of activists had organized a rally in protest.  Opposition to the law, known as the Orthodox-Maronite-Gathering (or as Qifa Nabki calls it, the OMG law) immediately gained momentum on Facebook and …