Elections billboards in Ghazir, Friday, April 13, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The unprecedented lavish spending on television talk shows hosting candidates running in the upcoming parliamentary elections indicates that money is one of the key elements to win votes in Lebanon. Most of the popular Lebanese TV stations have shifted their focus to the May 6 elections over the past four weeks, hosting three to five interviews per day with some of the candidates seeking to win seats in the Parliament.Out of the hundreds of candidates running in the elections, only a few can afford to pay these hefty fees.Even OTV, which is owned by the Free Patriotic Movement, is charging money from candidates, including from party members.This is a modest growth but nevertheless it's significant if we consider this was achieved in less than two months," Wazni told The Daily Star.He added that apart from the money spent on election campaigns, some candidates are reported to be paying $1,000 to $2,000 for each vote in certain regions.
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