Monday, June 20, 2005

Anti-Syrian bloc wins landslide in N.Lebanon

This caught the so-called "experts" off gaurd.

TRIPOLI, Lebanon (Reuters) - An anti-Syrian Lebanese opposition alliance won the final phase of a parliamentary election in a landslide on Sunday, giving it a clear mandate to steer Lebanon out of Syria's shadow.

An unofficial count for north Lebanon showed an alliance led by Saad al-Hariri sweeping all remaining 28 seats, while its rivals conceded they were heading for defeat.

The victory means the 128-seat assembly has an anti-Syrian majority for the first time since the 1975-1990 civil war.

Pro-Syrian Christian former minister Suleiman Franjieh conceded he and his candidates were heading for defeat in the mainly Sunni Muslim north, though they had done well in Christian areas.

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