Lebanon's much anticipated parliamentary elections will be held June 7, and the closeness of the race is revealed in the lengths vying parties are going to secure votes. A telling example is Lebanese expats who are being flown home on the parties' tab, just so they can vote on Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reports:
The atmosphere at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport was unusually festive for a Thursday afternoon as hundreds of gift-laden friends and family awaited the arrival of their loved ones, many of whom are returning to vote in the hotly contested general elections Sunday.
The race between the opposition, backed by Syria and Iran, and the pro-Western March 14 coalition is so tight, in fact, that many parties are footing the bill for their constituents to fly home and vote.
Another example, is Hezbollah's renewed embrace of Lebanese families who fled to Israel in 2000, after being ousted for their involvement with the pro-Israel South Lebanon Army, Now Lebanon reports. An agreement has since been reached to welcome this community back, but at the same time, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah just recently called for the execution of all Israeli 'spies'. Hezbollah says it is screening all those returning to ensure that they are not spies.
For more on the Lebanese elections, Council on Foreign Relations has a an overview here.
And for a report on how the West views the elections, here.