An electoral poster for Russian President Vladimir Putin next to a poster depicting Amal Movement founder Imam Mousa Sadr in south Lebanon, Sunday, March 11, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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What does Russian President Vladimir Putin have in common with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri?Huge billboards depicting Putin have been placed alongside those of the longstanding Lebanese Parliament Speaker in many areas in south Lebanon, particularly along the coastal highway to the city of Tyre, where Berri's Shiite Amal Movement enjoys wide popular support.Lebanon's first parliamentary elections in 9 years are scheduled for May 6, while Putin is seeking a new term in Russia's presidential vote set for March 18 .As in previous elections, Amal and Hezbollah have forged an electoral coalition that is widely expected to capture the majority of parliamentary seats allotted to the Shiite sect.However, a farmer who works in one of Tyre's fields seemed apathetic to Putin's posters.Hundreds of Amal's posters and billboards have been put up on the roads in the cities of Zahrani and Tyre, some depicting Berri and others the Shiite Imam Musa Sadr, the founder of the Amal Movement who disappeared while on an official visit to Libya in 1978, in addition to posters of a farmer working in his land and a woman doing housework.
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