File - This combination of pictures show Moukhayber, left, attending a session at the Parliament in Beirut, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, and Baroud speaking during an interview in Beirut, Friday, March 15, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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In Lebanon's 2018 parliamentary elections, the country saw the largest coalition of independent candidates running in nine of 15 districts, but recognized independents Ghassan Moukheiber and Ziad Baroud opted to join lists with established parties.Moukheiber wondered out loud, sitting in his home office in the Metn town of Beit Mery.His most prominent feat was the 2017 passage of Lebanon's first access to information law – a bill that was submitted as a draft nearly a decade earlier.Judging by his political career, Moukheiber seemed a perfect fit for Kilna Watani (All for the Nation) – Lebanon's first coalition of independent candidates.But Moukheiber, close to the Free Patriotic Movement, ran as an independent with Strong Metn – a list of candidates affiliated to the FPM, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party and the Tashnag Party. Baroud, a longtime friend and colleague of Moukheiber's, found himself in the same boat.Instead, Baroud joined the FPM's Strong Lebanon list.While Baroud echoed the same sentiments, he also noted the importance of supporting the presidency despite his position as an independent.
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