Foreign Money Seeks to Buy Lebanese Votes

[New York Times] Robert F. Worth - The parliamentary elections in Lebanon in June are shaping up to be among the most expensive ever held anywhere, with hundreds of millions of dollars streaming into this small country from around the globe. Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region are arming their allies with campaign money in place of weapons. Votes are being bought with cash or in-kind services. Candidates pay their competitors huge sums to withdraw. Despite the vast amounts being spent, Lebanon's sectarian political structure virtually guarantees a continuation of the current "national unity" government, in which the winning coalition grants the loser veto powers to preserve civil peace.

2009-04-24 06:00:00

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