Polls for Lebanese Parliamentary Elections Closed, Counting Begins

Polls closed Lebanon’s 2022 parliament election by 07:00 pm and all stations concluded the voting to begin opening ballot boxes and tallying the results.

As polls closed, Prime Minister Najib Mikati held a press conference on the vote, where he denied the turnout would be as low as feared and praised security forces for ensuring the vote was held safely.

“All elections have mistakes, but thankfully today we consider we have minimal mistakes and flaws. The team was able to deal with them immediately,” Mikati told reporters.

When asked about low voter turnout, Mikati said the Lebanese state had done all it could for the vote and it was up to citizens to express themselves by either voting or abstaining.

“I consider these elections a victory for the Lebanese state and the people,” he said.

“Everyone had their doubts, but the state today pulled together all its forces to make the elections happen.”

Mikati pointed to the deployment of 120,000 security forces across the country to ensure the vote could be held securely.

He closed the conference by saying he hoped winning parties would “convene as soon as possible to select a new prime minister and form a cabinet as soon as possible.”

“We don’t have time to waste,” he said.

Lebanese parliamentary elections kicked off on Sunday at 07:00 am amid security measures taken by Lebanese Internal Security Forces and Lebanese Army.

3,663,518 eligible voters will elect 128 Parliament members, with 718 Lebanese candidates are running for elections.

North Lebanon II (Tripoli, Minieh, Donniyeh) registered the largest number with 11 lists while the third district of Southern Lebanon registered the smallest number (3 lists). The Beirut II (Ras Beirut, Minet el Hosn, Dar El Mrayse, Mazraa, Msaytbe, Zkak El Blat, Bachoura, Port) registered ten lists while the Bekaa I (Zahle) came third with eight.

The country’s 2017 electoral law stipulates that all Lebanese men and women can vote, excluding for military and security personnel, people convicted of a felony, those stripped of their civil rights, or declared bankrupt, among others.

Naturalized Lebanese citizens can vote 10 years after their citizenship begins. This does not apply to non-Lebanese women who obtained citizenship through marriage to Lebanese men. But it does apply to non-Lebanese men married to Lebanese women.

Voters are enrolled automatically in their registered place of origin and the list is available for public inspection at government offices including municipalities.

The first phase of the parliamentary elections was held last week for expatriates on May 6 and 8. More than 140,000 out of 225,000 Lebanese registered voters took part in the electoral process.

Nearly 13,000 Lebanese expats voted across 60 countries earlier on May 6 and May 8.

For the first time in thirty years, parliamentary election is taking place with the boycott of the Future Movement and its leader Saad Hariri after Saudi pressures which pushed the latter to suspend politics action and call for boycotting the electoral process.

The parliamentary elections are particularly important since they are the first to be held after the October 2019 protests and the subsequent financial and economic crises.

Since 2019, the Lebanese currency, the pound, has lost more than 90 percent of its value against the US dollar on the black market.

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