Lebanon's constitutional council replaces two MPs after appeal

Move comes six months after parliamentary elections

Lebanese MPs at the parliament building in Beirut. Lebanon's constitutional council voided the nomination of two MPs on Thursday. EPA
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Lebanon's Constitutional Council on Thursday overturned the election of two members of parliament from the northern district of Tripoli following appeals filed by rival candidates against the results of the May 15 poll.

“The recount yielded different results, and we corrected them,” the council's president Tannous Mechleb told reporters after the decision was announced.

The council said MPs Ramy Finge and Firas Salloum would be replaced by Faisal Karame and Nasser Haidar, respectively.

With parliament in a stalemate over electing Lebanon's next president, there were fears that the council's rulings on election challenges could alter the balance of power in the house. However, Thursday's rulings are unlikely to change much.

Mr Karame, ideologically allied to the March 8 pro-Hezbollah bloc, will make up for the loss of Mr Salloum, who ran under an independent list but is also seen as pro-Hezbollah. Meanwhile, the entry of Mr Haidar will ensure that the Forces of Change, a bloc that advocates for reforming Lebanon's political landscape, continues to have 13 MPs in parliament despite the departure of Mr Finge.

“I was convinced the results were in our favour,” Mr Karame told the Al Jadeed channel after he was declared the winner. “When we submitted the appeal we were certain we had not lost.”

The constitutional council received 15 appeals against the election results in June. Its rulings so far have rejected all the challenges except the two upheld on Thursday.

Mr Mechleb said only appeals filed in the Matn and Akkar districts remain under consideration.

Updated: November 24, 2022, 3:12 PM