The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. – Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Lebanese men show their ink-stained thumbs after casting their vote for the Municipality elections at a polling station in Baakline, southeast of Beirut, Lebanon. (WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)
Lebanese men show their ink-stained thumbs after casting their vote for the Municipality elections at a polling station in Baakline, southeast of Beirut, Lebanon. (WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)
Pictures of candidates are spread in Sidon in preparation for Sunday's elections (Abbass Salman)
Pictures of candidates are spread in Sidon in preparation for Sunday’s elections (Abbass Salman)
Hezbollah members carry the coffin of top Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine, who was killed in an attack in Syria, during his funeral in Beirut's southern suburbs. (Aziz Taher / REUTERS)
Hezbollah members carry the coffin of top Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine, who was killed in an attack in Syria, during his funeral in Beirut’s southern suburbs. (Aziz Taher / REUTERS)
(From L-R) Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed, head of Hezbollah's political council, Hezbollah deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem and Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, head of the Hezbollah Executive Council, accept condolences for the death of top Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine, who was killed in an attack in Syria, in Beirut's southern suburb. (Aziz Taher / REUTERS)
(From L-R) Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed, head of Hezbollah’s political council, Hezbollah deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem and Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, head of the Hezbollah Executive Council, accept condolences for the death of top Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine, who was killed in an attack in Syria, in Beirut’s southern suburb. (Aziz Taher / REUTERS)
A souvenir shop owner displays glasses decorated with pictures of Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon's powerful Shiite militant group Hezbollah, in Beirut southern suburb. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)
A souvenir shop owner displays glasses decorated with pictures of Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon’s powerful Shiite militant group Hezbollah, in Beirut southern suburb. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)
Hezbollah supporters attending a memorial ceremony for slain top military Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine. (Hezbollah)
Hezbollah supporters attending a memorial ceremony for slain top military Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine. (Hezbollah)
Students from the National Institute of Music perform in the National Museum in Beirut. (Jamal Saidi / REUTERS)
Students from the National Institute of Music perform in the National Museum in Beirut. (Jamal Saidi / REUTERS)
Models take to the catwalk wearing a cruise creation by Lebanese designer Amal Azhari during a cruise collection 2016 fashion show in Antielas.(WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)
Models take to the catwalk wearing a cruise creation by Lebanese designer Amal Azhari during a cruise collection 2016 fashion show in Antielas.(WAEL HAMZEH / EPA)
Filipino Melca Into, working as a housemaid, takes part in a fashion show in a restaurant in the trendy Beirut neighborhoud of Gemmayzeh. The fashion show featuring women migrant domestic workers as well as women from other segments of the Lebanese society, modelling the designs of young and upcoming fashion designers, was organised by Insan, a Lebanese human rights organisation. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)
Filipino Melca Into, working as a housemaid, takes part in a fashion show in a restaurant in the trendy Beirut neighborhoud of Gemmayzeh. The fashion show featuring women migrant domestic workers as well as women from other segments of the Lebanese society, modelling the designs of young and upcoming fashion designers, was organised by Insan, a Lebanese human rights organisation. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri attend the wedding ceremony of Sumeyye Erdogan, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan youngest daughter, in Istanbul, Turkey. (Presidency Press Service)
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri attend the wedding ceremony of Sumeyye Erdogan, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan youngest daughter, in Istanbul, Turkey. (Presidency Press Service)
Nasser (L) and Mohammad Ali Darwish, two Syrian refugee brothers, make drawings before selling them on Gemmayzeh street. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)
Nasser (L) and Mohammad Ali Darwish, two Syrian refugee brothers, make drawings before selling them on Gemmayzeh street. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)
People celebrate in front of a plaque reading in Portuguese and Arabic: "Street Michel Temer, Vice President of Brasil" after Brazilian of Lebanese descendent Michel Temer became acting President of Brazilو in the Lebanese village of Btaaboura, north of Beirut. (IBRAHIM CHALHOUB / AFP )
People celebrate in front of a plaque reading in Portuguese and Arabic: “Street Michel Temer, Vice President of Brasil” after Brazilian of Lebanese descendent Michel Temer became acting President of Brazilو in the Lebanese village of Btaaboura, north of Beirut. (IBRAHIM CHALHOUB / AFP )
Lebanese Businessman and politician Sam Mohamed Jichi aka "Sam l'Africain" (Sam the African) poses in Abidjan. "Being elected MP of Ivory Coast" This is the crazy dream of Sam Mohamed Jichi since his return from the International Criminal Court in The Hague, after he became a star by testifying openly for three weeks at the trial of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo. (ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP)
Lebanese Businessman and politician Sam Mohamed Jichi aka “Sam l’Africain” (Sam the African) poses in Abidjan. “Being elected MP of Ivory Coast” This is the crazy dream of Sam Mohamed Jichi since his return from the International Criminal Court in The Hague, after he became a star by testifying openly for three weeks at the trial of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo. (ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP)
Contestant Saline trots during the "Festival Originality beauty contest for Arabian horses" in the horse race park in Beirut. (Jamal Saidi / REUTERS)
Contestant Saline trots during the “Festival Originality beauty contest for Arabian horses” in the horse race park in Beirut. (Jamal Saidi / REUTERS)
A competitor poses with his horse during a show of Arab horses at the Beirut Hippodrome. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)
A competitor poses with his horse during a show of Arab horses at the Beirut Hippodrome. (PATRICK BAZ / AFP)
Activists from of the lebanese LGBT community take part in a protest outside the Hbeish police station in Beirut, demanding the release of four transsexual women and calling for the abolishment of article 534 of the Lebanese Penal code, which prohibits having sexual relations that "contradict the laws of nature". (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)
Activists from of the lebanese LGBT community take part in a protest outside the Hbeish police station in Beirut, demanding the release of four transsexual women and calling for the abolishment of article 534 of the Lebanese Penal code, which prohibits having sexual relations that “contradict the laws of nature”. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)
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