Sheba’a, the largest among the Arkoub towns, assumes considerable importance due to its location on the Lebanese-Israeli borders and its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict over the past few decades. The municipal elections in the town acquired a familial character. Nevertheless, the political background did not vanish from the picture, especially amidst the political divisions clouding the country.
The Future Movement announced that it would be sitting on the fence, affording its supporters ample freedom to make their own voting choice. However, scratching beneath the surface shows that the Future Movement was covertly backing the Loyalty and Dignity list, which was equally supported by the rivals of the FM- against the Islamic Jama’a endorsing the Sheba’a for All list.
Three lists engaged in the 2010 electoral rivalry:
The Free Decision list headed by Mohammad Saab and backed by the Future Movement, the Islamic Jama’a and a number of families.
The Sheba’a for All list headed by the outgoing head of the municipality Omar Zouhairy and partially backed by the Future Movement and a number of families. The list was incomplete consisting of only 15 candidates.
The Decision of Sheba’a list headed by William Saab and supported by the Arkoub Inhabitants Commission (close to Kamal Shatila). The list was incomplete consisting of 12 candidates.
The first list won obtaining an average of 2,455 votes or roughly 51% of the total vote compared to an average of 1,178 and 980 votes for the second and third lists respectively.
In 2016, the competition was limited to two lists:
- The "Sheba’a for All" list gaining the support of the Islamic Jama’a and a number of families.
- "The Loyalty and Dignity" list headed by the Head of the Municipality Mohammad Saab and gaining indirect support from by the Future Movement and directly from March 8 parties.
- The Loyalty and Dignity list dominated 16 seats in the council obtaining an average of 2,680 votes equaling 47.6% of the total vote whereas its rival managed to snatch two seats with an average of 2,230 votes or 39.6%. Only 450 votes decided the balance, suggesting a tight competition in which financing parties had allegedly brought the expatriates back home to participate in the polls.