The Daily Star (Lebanon)
Sabaa party announces candidates
BEIRUT: The Sabaa party Sunday announced its 20 candidates running for the May 6 parliamentary elections, promising a fresh alternative to Lebanon’s traditional political parties and to create “a new generation of leaders.”
In a televised event, the new party pledged to fully disclose its candidates’ assets in a commitment to transparency and to steer clear of outside influences.
The Sabaa candidates took to the stage, alongside their families, to announce their goals and focuses. In line with the party’s appeal to Lebanon’s younger generation, each candidate spoke about their children and stressed the importance of securing their future in the country.
“I don’t see a future for my kids unless there is change … Sabaa will work on bringing this change,” Fadwa Fayiz Nassif, one of the party’s candidates for the Orthodox seat in Koura, said.
Nassif, who described herself as an environmental activist, announced the party’s vows. “We pledge to stay far from sectarianism. We won’t accept to be dependent on any foreign state. We will aim to become a civil state, working with full transparency and combating corruption.”
She also promised the full public disclosure of the candidates’ assets, before giving the stage to the party’s “star,” one of Lebanon’s leading media personalities, Paula Yacoubian.
“For decades people have been … protesting and demanding change, but without results. Sabaa isn’t a movement that simply demands change, it’s a comprehensive transformative movement. It will create a new generation of leaders,” said Yacoubian, who is running for an Armenian Orthodox seat in Beirut.
She addressed campaign banners put up by prominent parties promising change and criticized that so far the parties have failed to fulfill their pre-election promises. “You have plenty of funds [for campaigns], but your failure is evident … Change isn’t a slogan you can hang on a billboard.”
The Sabaa party came to the front after the “You Stink” protests against the garbage crisis, and was led by young political activists that aimed to combat sectarianism, corruption and nepotism they claimed corrupted the established political parties in the country.
The party gained more exposure after Yacoubian joined, announcing Sabaa as “the first political” party to which she has belonged. –