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A newly established electoral alliance between the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces is expected to sweep the majority of seats during next month's municipal polls in the northern qada [district] of Batroun, residents said. Moreover, the FPM-LF alliance, the byproduct of a historic reconciliation between FPM's founder MP Michel Aoun and LF chief Samir Geagea in January, is certain to avert any fierce battle for the control of Batroun's 15-member municipal council, they said.In past elections, Batroun witnessed hotly-contested competition for the domination of the qada's local council among the three main Christian parties: The LF, the FPM and the Kataeb Party.The FPM-LF alliance also presents Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, the FPM leader, with an electoral challenge, especially since he ran in the last two parliamentary polls but failed to win a seat due to the distribution of electoral districts.The FPM-LF alliance will also not pose a challenge to Harb or Tanourin's 18-member municipal council.
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