Subject: The recent parliamentary elections in Lebanon.

The results of the first two stages of the five stage parliamentary elections in Lebanon demonstrates beyond any doubt the heavy interference and fraud by the government in favor of its candidates. The Lebanese government utilized every possible means within its powers to forge the election process, starting with the electoral law that discriminates between the Lebanese and ending with the thousands of newly naturalized citizens that were brought in buses from Syria.

To reflect on these elections we have to explain the state of affairs that forced many Lebanese to boycott it:

The electoral law is unconstitutional according to The Constitutional Council.

All the government ministers are candidates for the parliamentary elections including the Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior.

The government refused any international supervision to the elections and banned the Lebanese Association for Monitoring the Election's Democracy.

The Syrian's explicit intervention in these elections. The newspapers mentioned that there were more than 300 candidates in the hotels of Damascus, and Mr. Abd Al-Halim Khaddam, the Syrian vice-president, announced lately that most of the candidates, if not all, are very close to Syria.

Making use of large numbers of newly naturalized citizens to vote for the government's candidates under the threat of taking away their new nationality.

The dangerous consequences of the election process concerns us the most because it will blast away democracy and the independence of Lebanon. The main consequences are:

With both the Executive and Legislative authorities under Syrian domination, Lebanon will become another Syrian province. With a high rate of participation in the 1996 elections, those who will win a seat in the Lebanese parliament are sure to change their status from `de facto' to `de jury' representatives of the Lebanese people. The next step would be to legitimize Syria's actions in Lebanon and eventually undermine the existence of Lebanon as an independent country.

The traditional democratic values of the Lebanese society are no longer in existence. Lebanon is moving swiftly away from democracy towards becoming a totalitarian regime with an outcome of 99.99% in any kind of elections. The world is ridding itself from totalitarian regimes while Lebanon is moving in the opposite direction. At this point, we state our condemnation to United State's stand, through its ambassador in Beirut Mr. Richard Jones, on the election process. The ambassador is wooing the elections and asking the Lebanese people to participate heavily in it. The American Administration knows very well that these elections are fraud yet it insists on putting its stamp of approval on it.

The most astounding example to fraudulence is the election of the Allawite representative Mr. Ahmad Hbous. Considering the following facts, his election carries a dangerous political implications on the long run:

- The Allawites are a very small sect in Northern Lebanon.

- Ahmad Hbous is a businessman who has his business outside Lebanon.

- He is not known by the community; does not have a political power base;

and do not belong to a prominent political family.

- Mr. Hbous came back to Lebanon a month ago and filed his candidacy

one week before the elections. He had no time for heavy campaigning.

- The polls did not speak of Mr. Hbous as a serious contender.

In spite of all these discouraging factors, Mr. Hbous won his seat to the parliament with 123,142 electoral votes making him the most powerful politician in North Lebanon. With Syria determined to impose secularism on the Lebanese political system, Ahmad Hbous would be Syria's leading political figure in Lebanon based on the popular power base that voted for him.

The Human Rights organizations should denounce the election process in Lebanon because it is full of violations to the constitution (The Lebanese Association for Monitoring the Election's Democracy has registered 58 violations in the governorate of Mount Lebanon and 52 violations in the governorate of Northern Lebanon) in addition to extortion, forgery on a large scale and falsifying identity cards and voting lists. The results of this process will be fraud by all means and are not worthy of the Lebanese who have a long history in democracy and democratic values.

Free World Youth - Lebanon