BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri called on Future Movement supporters Thursday to vote for March 14 coalition candidate Fadi Karam in the Koura by-election set for July 15.
“Hariri called on all supporters of the Future Movement and former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Koura to vote for the March 14 candidate Fadi Karam in the by-election next Sunday,” Hariri’s press office said.
“Participation in this election is the core of democratic life, which we are working to strengthen and protect in Lebanon, and voting for Fadi Karam is part of protecting the Cedar Revolution, its achievements and principles, which we are still committed to,” Hariri said.
The winner of the July 15 parliamentary by-election will take the Orthodox seat previously occupied by LF MP Farid Habib, who died last month.
The Syrian Social Nationalist Party put forward a candidate, Walid Azar, a few weeks after the Lebanese Forces announced the candidacy of Karam.
Although relatively few voters participate in by-elections, Sunday’s contest will likely be a heated one given that the March 14 coalition has endorsed Karam and March 8 backs Azar.
Hariri, head of the Future Movement, also said that the by-election would be a test for the March 14 project, which he said was “based on the idea of an Arab, democratic, free and independent Lebanon.”
He also said that casting a vote for Karam means voting for a strong state with jurisdiction over arms in the face of what he described as projects to fragment the state and subvert its sovereignty and freedom.
“The Koura by-election is of additional importance considering that it comes as the Arab region witnesses Arab Spring revolutions, particularly the revolution of the Syrian people against Bashar Assad's regime and his groups,” Hariri said.