For English readers, good coverage of the Lebanese elections today might be a bit hard to find.
As I'm not in Lebanon at the moment, I am in a similar boat to many of you: sitting on my screen surfing through a haystack to find some good on-the-ground English reporting. I've all but ruled out the Western media, who never really understand what's going on-the-ground in Lebanon (i.e. Australian reporters based in Beirut have in the past called me in Australia to ask for information in the country, even though I'm on the other side of the planet).
I think most of the world is expecting a March 8 (Hezbollah, FPM et al) victory, but if there's a country to pull surprises, it's Lebanon.
The US hasn't fully endorsed co-operation with a Hezbollah-led government, but Jimmy Carter certainly believes it should and so do I. Israel will also need to deal with this reality, and be aware that any military response to a Hezbollah victory will only empower the Shi'ite group in the country.
As for the elections thus far, some cheating has been reported, but that's natural in a country drenched in corruption. I'm just praying no one kills each other today.
Anyway, good English-language sources for those who want to keep updated are:
- Sharek961 (the best election coverage site I have found)
- Qifa Nabki's blog (an English-language Lebanese blog offering live coverage today)
- The FPM forum (although partisan, this is an excellent and very quick English source for election results if you can ignore the political rhetoric)
- Twitter (search #lebanonelections)
- Blacksmiths of Lebanon (again, quick updates, but biased towards March 14)
For a list of candidates and their affiliation, click here.