Published: 2018-04-29 15:42
Last Updated: 2018-04-29 17:15
The second phase of expatriate voting in the Lebanese parliamentary election started in Australia, Africa, Europe and the Americas on Sunday. Australia is the country with the highest number of Lebanese expats, with 11,826 registered voters, followed by Canada and the US.
Registered voters living abroad numbered 82,870 of whom 12,615 live in Arab countries. Lebanese embassies in six Arab countries- Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman- accepted ballots on Friday, registering more than a 65 percent voter turnout, The Daily Star reported.
The expat ballot boxes will be kept in the Central Bank in Beirut until the completion of the election, where all but one of the 32 boxes from Arab countries have already arrived.
The election is scheduled for May 6 and public institutions will suspend their operations on May 4 and May 7 for the occasion.This is the first parliamentary election in nine years and the first ever to allow Lebanese nationals living abroad to participate.
European Union Deputy Chief Observer, Jose Antonio de Gabriel, commended the election process on Sunday, saying "The voting process is proceeding smoothly...and no violations or problems have been detected by our observers," Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) reported.
He noted that the required mechanisms were respected and that the monitors had not registered any violations, adding that "The Lebanese provided an important example of democracy."