A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Hadath.
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The second round of municipal elections in Mount Lebanon ended peacefully Sunday with 56 percent voter turnout, but was marked by fierce battles fought in key Christian towns by allied parties backing rival lists for the control of local councils.In a potential setback to MP Michel Aoun, initial results early Monday showed that the candidates list backed by the Free Patriotic Movement and the Kataeb Party in Jounieh, the Maronite heartland, was slightly trailing behind a rival ticket headed by Fouad Boueri. In Sin al-Fil, a candidate list headed by the current mayor Nabil Kahaleh swept all the town's 18-member municipal council, initial results showed.Kahaleh's list is backed by the Kataeb Party, MP Michel Murr and local families against a rival ticket supported by the FPM and the LF. There were 3,217 polling stations open in Mount Lebanon, with 6,790 candidates running in 325 municipal councils.By 6 p.m., voter turnout had reached 56.5 percent in Jbeil, 47.2 percent in Metn, 49.5 percent in Chouf, 58 percent in Kesrouan, 50 percent in Aley and 42 percent in Baabda, according to the Interior Ministry. LF chief Samir Geagea defended his party's alliances in municipal elections.
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