The curse of election money in the “first places” is a hidden presence

Daniel Khayat

The smell of election money is blowing in the Bekaa 1 district, its hidden presence is overwhelming, and whispers about it are plentiful without evidence.

In his Friday sermon, Sheikh Walid Al-Louis rebuked: “For $ 100, a few days is not enough, you sell your land? You sell your honor? And the future of your children? What is this reality in which we live today? ? (…) If you sell your voice, do not say my heart belongs to the fatherland You are a liar Those we thought were responsible, those who used to say we are the protectors of the sect, then they are the sect’s sellers and traders and election brokers.

MP George Okais, a candidate for one of the two Catholic seats on the “Zahle Sovereignty” list, appeals to the electoral oversight body to act on the phenomenon of election money, during a speech he delivered in a meeting with the interests of the Lebanese forces in Zahle, saying: “In the time of scarcity and slander, the supply has grown, and the demand is still the same of people who see nothing but a number of heads in people. , for which we pay the price and a parliamentary position, and that is what must change in Zahle and in the whole of Lebanon. The elections, because at that time it would be “beaten, and whoever fled fled.” I cry out in the name of all the honorable people in the Zahle district and the whole of Lebanon: O Electoral Supervisory Authority, listen carefully. There are persistent attempts to buy off debt in Zahle district. so that we can put an end to this horrible phenomenon. “

At an election rally in the Al-Rasiya area, he sent a message and feast to mayors and voters in Zahle district: “Those who work on a payroll basis, we know them one by one. Let the people vote for their own will, do not try to bribe them with money, let the people be free I want to remind them that after a year you will have Municipal and optional elections, and if they do not “sit sans”, the day of judgment will come in 2023.

A Lebanese news website published a story, which it later removed, about “a deputy based on buying votes in the Bekaa 1 district.” The news was placed in the context of the settlement of accounts between two candidates, the argument between them was hypothetically continued via “Facebook” and “Twitter.”

In elections that do not have standards of morality and rules of discipline, two factors prevail, sectarian mobilization in the name of preserving existence, and election money.

As the team that owns the election keys and the people who choose “blocks”, who do not stop providing services to people at the same time, either financially or in kind, raise the ceiling of the “inciting” discourse, while the regulations increase by people , and the issue of delivering individuals, Behind Voices uses to assure the quotient and assign the preferential vote to that person. As for the regulations that present themselves as a transforming or revolutionary alternative, the majority of them are free from this competition out of frivolity, and some of them are due to the limited financial capabilities they have.

Increasing the momentum of election money, the severe economic crisis and the absence of political conviction. As for the first factor, the different classes and families became vulnerable and at the same time demanded financial support, or the so-called “soul of the spirit”. While some people do not vote according to any political rules or beliefs, and thus amidst the plethora of regulations, it is easy to gain support for certain election trends.

From here, the focus is on the Sunni component, the largest voter in the Bekaa 1 constituency, despite the “Future Movement” exit from the election campaign, and financial offers are pouring in from all sides, an issue that irritate the Sunni. street, who is already resentful of the way the writers of the lists handle it, whether in terms of choosing his candidates or treating him as voters, he says: “The Sunni voice wants them to be safe, but the Sunni candidate does. does not want the preferential vote. “

Similarly, the absence of Prime Minister Hariri’s leadership from this street not only spread the votes of the Sunni voter, but also his voting machine. It is a scandal revealed by one of the revolution’s Facebook pages, about the penetration of a number of “current” officials in Sunni street. In this context, one of the Sunni candidates says that the segment whose votes are being bought is known and limited while working to mobilize the largest segment to be elected politically and nationally.

All this has opened the door of a voting bazaar, so many brokers under the name of election keys, “there are those who offer votes they do not own, and there are votes that are sold more than once.” For example, a Facebook user did not hesitate to write a public comment about a candidate’s post in which he announced his candidacy by saying: “Good luck, if you need any help with the votes, I’m from. .., tell me privately. “

One of the candidates says that he received a call from a person who claimed to have the steering power of 25 votes, and when the candidate referred him to one of his assistants, he increased the number of the steering power to 75 voices increase. While it was known that this person contacted several candidates and offered to endorse a number of votes in exchange for money.

One of the candidates spoke to “An-Nahar” about bribes offered by competitive candidates to voters in exchange for not voting for their opponent. There is also a lot of talk that the price of the vote in some places was about 600 dollars, which must be divided over three weeks before the election, to drop in other places to 300 dollars per vote and up to a few hundred thousand. other places.

While it is not possible to truly verify the behavior of the candidates and election machines at the level of election money, it is certainly not possible to prove that the money game needs professionals, knowing that it is a process that brothers can be caught and disrupted by more than one way. One of the veteran candidates compares it to a “closed box”, which can be monitored on polling day, but to verify its effectiveness, one has to wait for the election results, and therefore “those who were hit, were hit, and the one who ran away ran away. ”

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