Lebanon News

Tripoli MP Robert Fadel resigns after Rifi election sweep

Robert Fadel speaks during an interview with The Daily Star in Beirut, Tuesday, July 17, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Tripoli MP Robert Fadel unexpectedly announced his resignation Monday, hours after unofficial results from the city's local elections held one day earlier showed that no Christians will be represented in the new municipal council.

Fadel, an independent March 14 figure, had backed the coalition list that took only six seats against the 18 captured by the list supported by resigned Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi's list.

"More than one essential component was absent or marginalized from the new municipal council," Fadel said in an email statement.

"I warned against compromising the representation of anyone in our societym," he added. "The law governing municipal elections needs to be looked into, so they do not inadvertently turn into a source of strife or elimination (of any sect)."

In a news conference earlier in the day, Rifi had vowed to preserve Tripoli’s co-existence, despite his list falling short of a sufficient Christian and Alawite representation.

“We are proud that Tripoli is a city that has mosques and churches and we preserve its co-existence,” he said.

He added that he had approached his rivals to suggest putting the same Christian and Alawite candidates on both their lists, but that they refused. Nonetheless, Rifi said his list was representative of all sects in the city.

However, none of those candidates won, meaning the incoming municipal council will have no minority sect members. The current municipal council has three Christians.

Members from the Alawite-majority neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen protested the results earlier Monday, calling on the Interior Ministry not to recognize them.





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