ENFEH, AMIOUN, Lebanon: March 14 candidate Fadi Karam won the north Lebanon Koura by-elections Sunday, defeating his March 8 rival to fill in the seat of late Lebanese Forces MP Farid Habib.
Karam, who is to become a member of the Lebanon’s Parliament, defeated Walid al-Azar of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party by almost 1,300 votes, safeguarding the opposition’s three seats in the district.
The LF candidate won 12,432 votes to Azar’s 11,152.
Azar, who had sought to make a dent to the March 14 coalition hold in the northern district, conceded defeat.
Speaking to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television station, Azar described his result as “honorable.”
Earlier in the day, Azar had alleged vote buying was taking place.
In terms of results, the 2012 Koura by-elections varied very little from the last round of parliamentary elections in 2009.
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said voter turnout reached close to 47 percent, which was similar to the figures during the previous elections.
More than 57,000 eligible voters were on the rolls, and some 27,000 people voted in the general elections of 2009.
The elections process took off at 7 a.m. at most voting stations.
Some slight delays did take place at a polling center situated at a public school in Amioun that serves the villages of Balghoun, Badboun and western Amioun, reported the National News Agency.
President Michel Sleiman, in a statement, said Koura’s by-election should be an occasion to stress the democratic process “which begins with the freedom of expression.”
Polls closed at around 6 p.m.