Aoun heads a Cabinet session in Baabda, Thursday, May 3, 2018. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Last-ditch efforts will be made Friday by candidates as the clock winds down before a nationwide media blackout goes into effect at midnight and campaigning ends. Politicians have done their best to smear opposing candidates over the last week, culminating with Prime Minister Saad Hariri Thursday rejecting claims by Hezbollah's leader that the Future Movement had helped Daesh (ISIS) and other terrorist organizations. The premier called on voters at the same event in Beirut Thursday to follow the instructions of his party's electoral machine in distributing preferential votes in order to see the largest possible number of Future candidates elected.Electoral supervisory body head Judge Nadim Abdel-Malek stressed the importance of media outlets abiding by the news blackout article detailed in the electoral law.This year's elections come at a time when social media outlets are being used at a rate not seen in previous elections.Machnouk informed ministers of the plan during Thursday's Cabinet meeting – the last of this government's before the elections.
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