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Hariri's Son Pushing for Electoral Sweep in Beirut

Saad Hariri
Friday is the final day for registered candidates to withdraw from the parliamentary elections in Lebanon due to begin on May 29. As many candidates withdraw, some parliament seats have become uncontested and have already been declared for the remaining candidate.

Less than a week after announcing his candidacy in the upcoming parliamentary elections, Saad Hariri, the son of the slain former prime minister Rafik Hariri, is pushing to capture all of the seats in Beirut.

During a press conference, Saad Hariri says he is hoping to lead the people as his father did.

He says, like his father, the door to his home is always open and he hopes to represent all of the people in Lebanon.

Rafik Hariri died in a huge explosion that shook the city on February 14. Many in Beirut are expecting an easy victory for the new Hariri ticket as the death of the elder politician has united many of the opposition parties.

There are 19 seats up for grabs in Beirut and already the Hariri ticket candidates have secured nine of those seats after candidates withdrew.

There are 27 candidates still in the running for the final 10 seats in Beirut but that could change. Some of the candidates withdrawing say they support the stronger candidates such as those on the Hariri tickets while others have withdrawn because they were not on a list that would likely win.

Responding to the question of whether these nine seats were enough, Hariri says he hopes the Lebanese people will go to the polls and vote for the rest of the candidates on his list.

Mr. Hariri says he chose the members of his list because they are the most active members of parliament and make a dynamic team.

This election will be the first in over three decades in Lebanon without a Syrian presence. Syrian troops and intelligence left Lebanon after massive protests over the death of Rafik Hariri and international pressure encouraged the Syrians to pullout last month.

The United Nations says the situation in Lebanon is still considered to be "fragile" and a U.N. team in Beirut to assist with the elections recently announced it would extend its stay for another week.