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The Parliament is scheduled to convene on Thursday for a legislative session, widely anticipated to extend the mandates of municipal councils and mukhtars into their third year.

These speculations arise following prolonged disputes among political parties. The Lebanese Forces (LF) and Kataeb advocate for municipal elections, whereas the Axis of Resistance seeks their postponement, citing the ongoing conflict in South Lebanon as justification.

Both legal and political experts have raised concerns about the perils of delaying local elections and its implications for democratic processes.

“In the Constitution, municipal elections are deemed administrative rather than political,” stated attorney Rizk Zgheib. “They must adhere to the constitutional obligation of periodicity that applies to all elections.”

“Extending mandates and deferring elections are unconstitutional,” Zgheib emphasized.

Despite their administrative categorization in the Constitution, the motivations behind calls for their cancellation are undeniably political, according to former MP Fares Souhaid.

Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri asserts that administrative hurdles resulting from the conflict preclude holding elections, but some argue that this rationale masks other concerns within the Axis of Resistance.

Contrary to claims of logistical impossibility, historical precedent demonstrates that elections can be conducted even amidst conflict. Miled Alam, head of the Municipality of Rmeish, recalls instances during the Civil War and Israeli invasion when citizens in the South traveled to designated polling stations in Tebnin or Bint Jbeil.

“With roads accessible and inter-town travel feasible, why assert it’s unattainable now?” Alam questioned. “The South has endured conflict for over six months; why is this obstacle raised only at this juncture?”

Fares Souhaid suggests that the ostensible rationale conceals deeper political motives. Amidst ongoing conflict, the Shiite duo Hezbollah-Amal seeks to foster unity and solidarity.

“They cannot afford to display divisions between towns,” Souhaid asserted. “If Amal prevails in one town, Hezbollah in another, and Christian parties elsewhere, how can the duo promote the notion of a unified populace?”

Debunking claims of logistical barriers, the push to postpone elections for another year is deemed unconstitutional, encroaching upon citizens’ democratic rights.

“Elections are both a duty and a right,” Alam concluded. “As municipalities of the South, we unequivocally advocate for them.”