Lebanon votes in first election after Beirut blast

STORY: Paul and Tracy Naggear just voted in Lebanon's parliamentary elections on Sunday (May 15)...

...from a polling station less than a mile from where their three-year-old daughter Alexandra was killed in the Beirut port explosion less than two years ago.

“We reached a point where we know the best and most efficient way to achieve what we want - to know the truth and finally see people in prison because of what happened - and that is when the judicial path takes place, if done the right way. Today, if the ruling parties stay in power then we know that won't happen. What's standing between us and justice are these elections.”

Sunday's election is the first since the Aug. 4, 2020 Beirut port explosion that killed more than 215 people.

It was one of the largest non-nuclear explosion ever recorded.

Many blame the disaster on safety failings by top political and security officials.

Some candidates have sought to make accountability for the blast - investigations into which have stalled - a main campaign issue.

Two powerful members of the parliament charged in connection with the blast are up for re-election: Ali Hassan Khalil and Ghazi Zeaiter, both running with the Shi'ite Amal Movement.

They have both denied any wrongdoing and have declined to attend interrogation hearings.

“The parliament of nitrate. They still have the gall to run candidates? As I was saying, anyone who wins against them is a victory for us… Every seat we take from them is a victory for us. I hope we can join hands inside (parliament) and be a stronger bloc. I really hope the two MPs Ali Hassan Khalil and Ghazi Zeaiter won’t win… Hopefully, we believe in the people.”

The Naggears said it was "hugely symbolic" to be voting in the city where their daughter was both born and killed.

“I had been thinking of the past as we had been working and getting everyone excited about voting but the moment where I was actually voting, I was thinking of what could be and hopefully it happens.”