LF leader Samir Geagea, left, speaks with FPM leader Michel Aoun in Maarab, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. (The Daily Star/Aldo Ayoub, HO)
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Independent candidate Jad Tabet's surprise election as head of Beirut's Order of Engineers may have cast doubt over the durability of the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces' alliance, but analysts Monday played down the victory's repercussions on upcoming parliamentary elections.Harb has long been considered a popular candidate in the region yet the FPM has been actively seeking to transfer Tripoli's Christian parliamentary seat to Batroun in a bid to have FPM President and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil finally attain a seat in Parliament after he had failed to secure one during the 2009 elections.The head of the LF engineers' group, Nazih Matta, denied that there was a centralized decision by his party to cross out the FPM candidate's name in the recent election.The LF and the FPM were negotiating on how they would be represented in the council. Since the FPM was fielding the candidate for the head of the order, the understanding was that the LF would take two of five council seats in return.
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