‘The ballot box revolution’: Lebanon holds parliamentary elections election news

Voter participation is expected to be higher this year after an increase in diaspora voting last week.

Beirut, Lebanon – Lebanon held parliamentary elections on Sunday as it emerged from an economic crisis that has pushed more than three-quarters of its population into poverty.

Some 3.9 million eligible voters will choose their preferred representative from 718 candidates on 103 lists spread across 15 boroughs and 27 streets, up from 597 candidates and 77 lists in 2018.

The EU deployed 170 observers across the country to monitor the election day process.

The semi-democratic state of Lebanon has a unique penitential power-sharing system. Its parliament consists of 128, evenly divided among the country’s mosaic of Muslim and Christian denominations. The President of Lebanon is a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister is a Sunni Muslim, and the Speaker is a Shia Muslim.

The country’s electoral law allocates seats proportionally based on a two-vote system. Voters select a list of candidates and then cast a “preferred vote” for their favorite candidate from that list.

In a speech on Saturday, President Michel Aoun called on citizens to vote in large numbers. “The ballot box revolution is the most honest,” Aoun said.

Voter participation is expected to be higher this year after an increase in diaspora voting last week.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, about 142,041 of the 244,442 registered foreign voters in 48 countries turned out last week from May 6 to 8, a turnout of 63.05%.That’s more than three times their involvement in Lebanon previous elections 2018.

Voter turnout in Lebanon in 2018 was just under 50%.

The following Uprising 2019, this year’s election also includes a number of anti-establishment candidates representing new political groups and movements. In 2018, only former Beirut journalist Paula Yacoubian won a seat.

While analysts expect anti-establishment candidates to win more seats, they believe the balance of power will ultimately remain intact.

Political parties loyal to traditional parties threatened and attacked anti-establishment groups in several regions during the campaign.

However, Lebanon’s largest Sunni party, the once Saudi-backed Future Movement, will not contest the elections.their leader, former prime minister Saad Hariri steps down Earlier this year, he criticized the growing power and influence of the Iran-backed Shiite movement Hezbollah.

Hariri has left a huge political gap in Lebanon’s main constituency, which analysts have told Al Jazeera’s Hezbollah allies may try to exploit.

The Future Movement currently holds two-thirds of the allotted Sunni seats in parliament.

A wide range of political groups and candidates have swept through Sunni constituencies, trying to fill vacancies in Tripoli, Sidon and Beirut’s second constituency.

Many Hariri supporters have called for a boycott of the election.

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