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Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2005, 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK
Who's who in Lebanon's election
Lebanon's main political forces are fighting the parliamentary election by forming "joint lists".

Here is a breakdown of the main groups and alliances.

BEIRUT

The Martyr Rafik Hariri list, led by Saad Hariri, a Sunni Muslim and Rafik Hariri's son, is fielding candidates for all of Beirut's 19 seats.

The group, which includes Mr Saad Hariri's own party, Future Movement, is expected to maintain its hold on the capital and form one of the biggest blocs in parliament, capitalising on the feelings stirred by the former prime minister's death.

The list has already secured at least nine of the capital's seats, with their candidates standing unopposed.

The aims of the lists include economic recovery, national unity and fighting corruption. It mainly comprises candidates who stood with Mr Rafik Hariri in the last elections in 2000.

SOUTHERN LEBANON AND NABATIYEH

Lebanon's two main Shia groups, Hezbollah and Amal, have formed the Resistance, Liberation and Development list in their heartland in the south.

The alliance is fielding 23 candidates in south Lebanon and is expected to win most of the seats there.

Amal leader and pro-Syrian parliament speaker Nabih Berri has said the vote here will also be "a vote on UN Resolution 1559", which called for Syrian withdrawal and the disarmament of Hezbollah, demands which Shia parties have contested.

MOUNT LEBANON

The parties of former civil war enemies Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and jailed Maronite militia leader Samir Geagea have announced a joint list in the Druze heartland of Al-Shouf district.

Walid Jumblatt's Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) and its parliamentary bloc, the Democratic Gathering, have been at the forefront of the recent protests against Syria's influence in Lebanon.

Mr Jumblatt is expected to win most seats in Al-Shouf.

The Lebanese Forces Movement is a former Christian militia and anti-Syrian opposition group.

Its leader, Samir Geagea, has been in prison since 1994 for assassinations carried out during the civil war. Other warlords have been released under amnesty.

Some Maronites have long seen his imprisonment as a sign that Syria and the pro-Syrians are targeting Maronite interests in the post-civil war order. His release remains one of their key demands.

The Free Patriotic Movement is the group of the fiercely anti-Syrian Christian leader Michel Aoun. The party calls for the reform of Lebanon's political system on a non-sectarian basis and the restoration of Lebanese sovereignty.

Former army chief Michel Aoun was forced into exile after launching a bloody rebellion against Syrian forces in 1989 and returned to Lebanon this May, after the complete withdrawal of Syrian troops.

Gen Aoun's return to the Lebanese political scene has created tensions between him and other prominent opposition leaders Saad Hariri and Walid Jumblatt. Gen Aoun's attempts to form an alliance with the two leaders were unsuccessful. His party will be running against Jumblatt and Hariri's candidates in the Mount Lebanon elections on 12 June.

He is believed to have an eye on the presidency.

OTHER

The Qornet Shehwan Gathering is an alliance of Maronite Christian politicians and one of the main voices for the Christian community's opposition to Syria's role in Lebanon.

The group, headed by Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir, joined Druze, Sunni and other groups to campaign for the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon.

But the group differs from its Druze and Sunni allies over how to reform the electoral system, which it believes marginalises Christian voters.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.




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