Ministers speak to Hariri during a Cabinet session at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Some 17 current ministers in the 30 member Cabinet are running for parliamentary elections on May 6, including top officials such as Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.The current electoral law endorsed last year does not ban ministers from running for Parliament but recent accusations from NGOs and some politicians are highlighting possible issues of a conflict of interest and some have said it violates the principle of an equal opportunity between candidates.MP Butros Harb voiced a similar concern to Moukheiber and asserted that officials were using all their power to benefit their electoral interests.Harb recalled how Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who headed Cabinet in 2005, refrained from running for parliamentary elections and so did all members of his government."These were used as platforms to mobilize expats to vote for them," LADE's spokeswoman Haneen Chabchoul told The Daily Star.She questioned why these events were scheduled to take place just weeks before the elections.
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