Joumana Haddad speaks in front of supporters near the Interior Ministry in Beirut, Monday, May 7, 2018. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Hours ahead of the release of official election results Monday, hundreds of demonstrators descended on the Interior Ministry in Beirut to voice their opposition to the electoral loss of an independent candidate in unclear circumstances. Not just expressing support for LiBaladi candidate Joumana Salloum Haddad, protesters criticized Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, who heads the ministry in charge of implementing and overseeing the elections and who was successful in his own race for a seat in Parliament. Machnouk Monday evening announced that Haddad, who had been projected to win by many parties and news organizations Sunday, lost to Free Patriotic Movement candidate Antoine Pano.After Machnouk's announcement of the final results Monday night, protesters remained in front of the ministry, with Haddad herself showing up twice and delivering speeches in which she thanked supporters and called for recounts in Beirut I and in the Chouf-Aley district, also for alleged lack of transparency.
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