The election confrontation is raging in the second northern district, and its weight is centered on the city of Tripoli, and this week’s title: Who pays more to buy votes?
avalanche of abuse
Election money in Tripoli takes precedence over any other political title held by most traditional powers and some new emerging powers. And if the city has entrusted its leaders and symbols with big spending and bribes as a proceeds to buy votes in successive elections, days before the ballot box opens, the hallmark of the 2022 election is that money is the strongest engine for the street is, which attracts voters and the exploitation of the poor with their most basic needs. No forms are submitted without a price guarantee!
In practice, in Tripoli, which is invaded by photos of candidates, politics is almost absent. Some powers violate it with populist sovereign slogans, to compensate for the absence of the Future Movement, and the struggle disappears in the shadow of Prime Minister Najib. Mikati’s non-candidacy.
Over the course of days, Al-Modon, through field testimony, observed a stream of violations by candidates competing for the value of the bribe, which became a public auction.
The irony is that the data of information and forms about voters to whom bribes are paid is almost uniform among most of the lists that practice this behavior. In the sense that large segments of voters who fill in their names on the so-called voting forms receive the cost of this from various conflicting parties, and this deepens the candidates’ ability to get votes in their favor.
According to the information, most of the lists that voters want to attract are active through intermediaries who prepare for them forms with the names of the voters, and each form has a price according to the number of its names and their geographical distribution.
The amounts and offers differ from one list to another, and even between the parties of the same list competing among themselves for the preferential vote, and therefore, as individuals, they turn to offering bribes to ensure the greatest number of preferential votes.
forms of bribery
According to the data, the list supported by Prime Minister Najib Mikati complains about poor financial support! This was expected in light of Mikati’s non-candidacy. The case also appears in the absence of his “for people” list in any debate or circle of polarization, exacerbating his weakness on the street, where its presence is limited to white advertising banners.
However, three candidates from this list strive to progress at all costs, and move on the ground through their offerings and services, despite the scarcity of support Mikati offers to the list. At the forefront of this, Suleiman Jean Obeid, the candidate for the Maronite seat, whose movement began to appear in the city. There are data on material and in-kind contributions that he disseminates to improve his chances of voting, in light of his fierce competition with the candidate of the powers that be. So does Karim Mohamed Kabbara, who is leading the fight to inherit his father’s seat and popularity. It offers large sums of money to voters’ keys and form holders, in exchange for small sums to voters, according to their conditions. As for Representative Ali Darwish, he still relies on Mikati’s financial and moral support to retain his top seat, given his poorly popular position in Jabal Mohsen, and other candidates have submitted their services, including, for example, Muhammad Trabelsi. , the list of Faisal Karami, and Badr Eid on the list of former MP Mustafa Alloush. .
At the same time, data monitored by Al-Modon indicate that former Minister Ashraf Rifi, in partnership with the Lebanese Forces Party, is actively involved in providing election bribes. For example, they are offered an average of one million Syrian pounds per vote, which decreases and escalates according to the nature of the voters, not to mention large sums of money offered to election keys, brokers and form holders, some of which are paid. in dollars. The data also speaks of a dispute that also erupted between Rifi and the forces over financial background, related to the election campaign and vote mobilization in Tripoli, especially as the forces are making an effort to get preferential votes for their candidate, Elie El Khoury, to provide. , and is not involved in a struggle to mobilize votes for Rifi.
As for the list of representative Faisal Karami, who is linked to MP Jihad Al-Samad and the Marada movement by his candidate, Rafli Diab, follows the same behavior. But the irony is that Karami has blocks in Tripoli, specifically the employees in his hospital and service institutions. Rafali Diab also provides material and in-kind services in an effort to win the battle for the Orthodox seat.
In-kind services vary in various forms, between vouchers, payment of medical and drug bills, school installments, car registration, provision of gun licenses, assaults on public property, milk bottles, and others.
The financier and his festivals
This reality is pursued not only by the poles of the traditional powers, but by some of the new emerging powers running under the slogan of change and revolution. At the forefront of this is the candidate Ihab Matar, a major financier affiliated with the Islamic Group on the “Real Change” list in the second northern district. While Matar’s huge spending is shown by his ads, Al-Modon’s information indicates that he pays large sums to voters in popular areas, and pays rent and debt, in addition to the banquets he holds to attract voters, in an effort for a large number of preferential votes.
So did the candidate Omar Harfouch, who was able to attract election keys affiliated with the “Future Movement” and pay them large sums of hundreds of millions daily, some of them in cash dollars, to be distributed to people, whether in cash or through services . On the other hand, many other candidates of the civil society powers tend to provide services indirectly to voters, in proportion to their budget and financial conditions.
In fact, the political battle in Tripoli is intensifying over the voices of futurists, and it is actually taking place between former MP Mustafa Alloush and Major General Ashraf Rifi. However, the data suggest that most of the future cadres are striving to provide the largest number of preferential votes for Alloush, given its location in the city, in addition to avoiding voting on a list supported by the powers that be.
So far, the chances of the candidates for five Sunni seats in Tripoli are ahead between Alloush, Rifi, Kabara and Karami, as well as the Al-Ahbash candidate on Karami Taha Naji’s list, who spends a lot of cash and services election money. The fate of the fifth seat remains a mystery. While the two seats of al-Dinniyeh are closer to the two deputies, Jihad al-Samad and Sami Fatfat, while the fate of the seat of al-Maniya is still ambiguous, despite the efforts of his deputy, Othman Alam al-Din ( Laheh Rifi) to preserve it.
Many expect the remaining few days to witness an escalation of spending in Tripoli, and efforts by all parties to buy the largest number of votes, in a struggle marked by uncertainty and mistrust between the poles of the same list.