Lebanon News

Beirut Order of Engineers to elect council members by accord

A man casts his vote during the Order of Engineers elections in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Consensus is set to prevail in elections to select five new council members of the Beirut Order of Engineers Saturday, the union’s head told The Daily Star.

Khaled Shehab, the head of the order, will open the voting from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. “There won’t be a battle for the elections this year,” he said. “I tried to seek an initial agreement from the different candidates to avoid problems between the supporters of the March 8 and March 14 [coalitions].”

Two of the five candidates elected over the weekend will be representing the committees of public sector engineers and consultant architects. The remaining three posts are for general seats in the council, which consists of 16 members in total.

A joint electoral list which groups consensus candidates from different political parties was created, Ayman Zayneddine, a former president of the Arab Agricultural Engineers Union and a former council member, told The Daily Star. The list consists of Michel Matta, representing March 14, Jahida Itani representing the Future Movement, Walid Mlaeb for the Progressive Socialist Party, Ali Henaoui on behalf of the Amal Movement and Elie Khoury of the Free Patriotic Movement.

All the political parties agreed to the joint list except for the Kataeb Party, which insisted on nominating its own candidate Tanios Gemayel separately, Zayneddine said.

The elections of the order are considered important because there are many candidates competing for limited posts. The importance of this weekend’s vote, according to Shehab, stems from the fact that engineering as a profession is significant for the country, and the order is among the largest with 64,000 members.

But unlike Beirut, a heated battle is expected to take place in the Tripoli Order of Engineers Saturday where candidates from the March 8 and March 14 coalitions will compete for four seats. – Additional reporting by Antoine Amrieh

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 11, 2015, on page 3.

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