People arrive to submit their candidacy for the upcoming Parliamentary elections at the Interior Ministry in Beirut, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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By midnight Tuesday, nearly 1,000 candidates had registered with the Interior Ministry to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections that promise to be hotly contested between rival political factions and blocs, as well as independents and civil society groups jostling to gain seats in the 128-member legislature.Among the estimated 1,000 candidates, there were 108 female candidates, compared to only 12 female candidates registered in the last parliamentary elections in 2009, said Faten Younis, head of political and refugee affairs at the Interior Ministry.The list included candidates from Berri's Amal Movement and Hezbollah in line with the two main Shiite parties' permanent electoral coalition.Although rival political parties are still exploring possible alliances in elections that will be conducted under a new proportional vote system for the first time, Hariri confirmed after a meeting with MP Walid Jumblatt Monday night that the longstanding coalition between the Future Movement and Progressive Socialist Party in all districts would continue.The Future Movement's parliamentary bloc highlighted the importance of holding the elections on time.
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