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Sidon Faces Election Battle after Announcement of 2 Separate Alliances
Sidon is headed toward an election battle after the two major groups announced they were competing for municipal elections set for May 23.
Not long after businessman Mohammed al-Saudi announced failure to forge consensus in the alliance for elections, a separate list backed by the Popular Nasserite Organization was declared, setting the stage for a battle.

The "Popular Will" coalition is headed by Abdul Rahman al-Ansari. It includes Mona Maarouf Saad al-Masri, Osama Saad's sister.

Mona and MP Bahia Hariri's son, Ahmed, who is on Saudi's list, will go head-to-head in next Sunday's election battle.

Al-Saudi took to the campaign trail after announcing he was freezing all contact with Osama Saad, a day after the two sides failed to achieve consensus on municipal elections.

The Sidon businessman said he was running for elections under a modified electoral list after incorporating three candidates from Jamaa Islamiya.

"I was the one who asked that Future Movement official Ahmed Hariri run for Sidon city council seat under my list," al-Saudi announced.

Al-Saudi unveiled during a meeting with Sidon MPs Fouad Saniora and Bahia Hariri at his home in Hlaliyeh east of Sidon that he offered Saad a number of compromises in the hopes of sparing the southern port city an election battle.

He said among the suggestions was that Saad chooses four of eight names put forward by al-Saudi.

"This is what happened. Saad chose four candidates and I approved only two of them," al-Saudi explained.

"This is the point where negotiations stopped," he announced.

Al-Saudi said he was not sure whether consensus efforts conducted by Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Hariri were still ongoing.


Beirut, 16 May 10, 20:50
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