Amal Amlia Lakrafi and Joseph Moukarzel attend a press conference in Beirut, Wednesday, May 31, 2017. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Having overcome the first major hurdle to win the French presidency, Emmanuel Macron's newly established party, La Republique En Marche, has stepped up efforts to secure votes of French nationals in the Middle East in its quest to win a majority in the general assembly to solidify his mandate. For only the second time, 11 lawmakers representing the French diaspora will be selected and the LREM candidate for the tenth overseas constituency, within which Lebanon is home to the largest electorate, was in the country courting its 22,907 voters. Amal Amelia Lakrafi, 39, has been crisscrossing the vast constituency made up of 49 countries in the Middle East and Africa in her campaign leading up to the first round of voting on June 4 . Moukarzel's predecessor as constituency deputy was also Lebanese and is now running with the "The Republicans" party incumbent Deputy Alain Marsaud. The Republican's presidential candidate, Francois Fillon, was the heavy favorite among Franco-Lebanese in the first round, reflecting the overall trend among France's roughly 3 million overseas citizens to lean to the right.
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