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Jumblatt to retain PSP leadership, official says
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ALEY, Lebanon: Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt will be re-elected to the post during the organization’s general assembly meeting Sunday, after nominations closed with him as the only candidate.

A senior PSP official, speaking to The Daily Star on condition of anonymity, said that nominations closed late Wednesday with Jumblatt the only person to have put themselves forward for nomination.

Jumblatt “will be re-elected party leader uncontested,” the official said.

Jumblatt became the PSP leader in 1977 following the assassination of his father, Kamal Jumblatt.

The official said around 600 party members and officials will attend Sunday’s meeting to discuss political and organizational issues, and to elect a new Leadership Council.

The party’s Leadership Council is made up of 19 members, five of whom are directly appointed by the PSP leader. The others are elected. Jumblatt is also responsible for choosing the three PSP deputy leaders.

The general assembly will be held at 9:30 a.m. in Aley.

Jumblatt, the official said, is expected to give a significant speech at Sunday’s meeting, at which he will underline his stance on a number of divisive issues, including the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the PSP’s relationship toward the Future Movement-led March 14 coalition and the Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance.

“Jumblatt’s speech will carry significant political headlines linked to the general situation in Lebanon and the region,” PSP spokesman Rami Rayess told The Daily Star.

Regarding the reshuffle, Rayess said the PSP leadership would see new, young faces.

Jumblatt has already given his son, Taymour, a leading position in the party, said to be part of a broader move to “inject new, young blood” into the PSP, a party official told The Daily Star last Tuesday.

The official said that the PSP Leadership Council had unanimously approved the reshuffle of all 71 members of the PSP Advisory Council, and that Taymour’s new position meant he was now only one step away from becoming the leader of the PSP.

He said Taymour, 29, will only take the helm as PSP leader once he is “politically mature.”

“But it won’t be long before this happens,” he added.

Rayess said that while Taymour had not been nominated to a senior party post, he would oversee the PSP’s day-to-day issues as well as social and developmental projects.

The new post also entitles Taymour to attend the PSP general assembly meetings for the first time. – Additional reporting by Rima S. Aboulmona

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 28, 2011, on page 2.
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walid jumblatt / Progressive Socialist Party / Lebanon
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