Hariri speaks at the Seaside Pavilion in Beirut, Monday, April 23, 2018. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Apparently alarmed by the latest political escalation between the Future Movement and Hezbollah, Speaker Nabih Berri Monday urged rival factions to remain calm ahead of next month's parliamentary elections, warning of the dire consequences of undermining the country's national unity and civil peace. Berri's stern warning comes as the electoral battle is heating up with opposing parties and blocs trading harsh rhetoric 12 days before Lebanon's parliamentary elections, the first in nine years.It also came two days after Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah lashed out at the Future Movement, blaming it for the country's deteriorating economy, and Prime Minister Saad Hariri hitting back, accusing the Hezbollah leader of using sectarian incitement to garner votes.Berri's Amal Movement has forged an electoral coalition with Hezbollah, and the two main Shiite parties are fielding candidates in Beirut, the Bekaa region, the south and the Jbeil-Kesrouan district.Hariri's fiery remarks came hours after Nasrallah criticized the Future Movement, accusing it of failing to stimulate the battered economy.Later, speaking during an economic dialogue with members of the Economic Committees, the country's private sector, Hariri highlighted the importance of maintaining political stability.
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