SIDON: Elections are not only for adults. Sixth-graders from public and private schools in Sidon and South Lebanon are holding elections of their own in the next three days to choose members of the "Children's Municipal Council."
Ten- and 11-year-olds at Al-Iman School High, a private school in Sidon, stayed after class Wednesday for the first day of the elections, now in their sixth year.
Over three days, a total of 2,000 voters from schools all over Sidon and South Lebanon will head to the ballot boxes at their own schools to elect 33 candidates from the 210 running for a seat on the council.
At Al-Iman, some candidates promised voters help with exams in an attempt to secure votes. On the playground girls flew balloons with pictures of their favorite candidates. In imitation of professional election campaigns, pictures of the candidates hung in the schools and voters made speeches in support of this or that candidate.
The female candidates were Alaa Ibriq, Alaa Hanaineh and Sarah Skaffi, while male candidates included Mustafa Baba, Ali Mallah, Mohammed Yaman, Hassan and Soeib Atr.
As with regular elections, a supervising committee was present to make sure all went well during the electoral process, and a curtain was placed before the ballot box where the young voters would cast their votes.
One popular candidate, Mustafa Baba, addressed his colleagues, telling them: "Hand in hand, our dreams will land. Vote for me, and be my friend."
Evidently many took him up on his offer. Along with Alaa Ibriq, Baba was voted in.