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Lebanon’s main Druze party chooses Taymur Jumblatt as new leader

AIN ZHALTA, Lebanon: Lebanon´s biggest Druze party on Sunday chose Taymur Jumblatt, 41, to succeed his father as leader of the small but influential community in the country´s power-sharing system.

Almost 2,000 supporters gathered in Ain Zhalta, in the Druze heartland of the Chouf mountains, where members of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) named the lawmaker as their new leader, after his father headed the party for 45 years.

He takes up the mantle at a time when Lebanon has been reeling from three years of gruelling economic crisis, widely blamed on the governing elite of which the Jumblatt dynasty is a core component.

“Taymur Jumblatt won the presidency of the Progressive Socialist Party, for which he was the sole contender,” the PSP said in a statement.

His father Walid Jumblatt, 73, had already passed the leadership of his community to his son in 2017.

The PSP was founded by Taymur´s grandfather Kamal and has become all but synonymous with the Druze community. PSP votes could prove pivotal in parliament at a time when lawmakers have failed 12 times to elect a new president.

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