File - Lebanese soldiers stand on a checkpoint at the entrance of Ghobeiri, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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An opposition group calling itself "Ghobeiri for Everyone" is trying to wrest control of the municipality from Hezbollah, which has dominated local government for the past 18 years.The list includes 20 candidates for the 21-member municipal council, including four women. "A member that was on the ticket decided to withdraw due to pressures being exerted on him," Harake said. Although some of the candidates unsuccessfully vied for municipal seats in the 2010 elections, he said he remains excited for this round. Hezbollah is lauded for its fighting prowess, but the party also maintains a large patronage network that provides schooling and health care to its constituents. Asked why people would relinquish such services in favor of his lesser-known and inexperienced list, Harake claimed that Hezbollah's services have been limited to party members. A statement by Ghobeiri for Everyone showcases the list's plan to tackle these challenges.Ghobeiri for Everyone's five-point plan seeks widespread reforms in the area's schools. Harake said what differentiates Ghobeiri for Everyone from the traditional list is their commitment to, and call for, financial transparency.
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