A Lebanese man offers sweets to people in the streets of the coastal city of Batroun, north of Beirut, as they celebrate the election of former general Michel Aoun as president, on October 31, 2016. AFP
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The 2022 presidential election appears to be in full swing. Although four years away, the contest is being foreshadowed in an early battle for May's election between partisans of the major candidates in the "North III" electoral district that comprises Batroun, Koura, Bsharri and Zgharta. At least four lists appear to be forming, clustered around the four main Christian parties: the Free Patriotic Movement, the Lebanese Forces, the Marada Movement and the Kataeb Party.FPM head Gebran Bassil is running for a seat in Batroun; LF leader Samir Geagea's party is defending four seats, including his wife's; Marada chief Sleiman Frangieh is looking to pass his seat to his son; and Kataeb leader Sami Gemayel is attempting to reinvent his party.Each party is scrambling to piece together the strongest coalition to contest the 10 seats on the line, with many looking to independent candidates.Jawad Boulos, part of Moawad's Independence Movement, will also be on the list.In Batroun, he faces stiff competition from the FPM and LF, but not Marada.The FPM-Independence Movement list includes Gebran Bassil in Batroun; Michel Moawad, Jawad Boulos and Pierre Raffoul in Zgharta; and George Atallah in Koura.
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