Lebanese diaspora cast votes in key parliamentary election
More than 194,000 Lebanese expatriates from 48 nations have cast their votes on Sunday for the Lebanese key parliamentary election.
State media stated that Lebanese expatriates in 48 countries, including France and the United Arab Emirates, voted on Sunday ahead of the May 15 parliamentary elections.
The crucial election takes place in the midst of an unparalleled financial crisis that has prompted a vast flight of people.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun visited the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to monitor the progress of the polling process abroad, congratulating the election supervisors on the accomplishment of their tasks. Aoun expressed his hope that the elections will be concluded in all its phases "without problems."
الرئيس عون من الخارجية: الجهود المبذولة لانجاز الانتخابات في الاغتراب ليست سهلة ونأمل ان تتحسن الامور في الانتخابات المقبلة وتكون اسهل من اليوم وان يكون لكل ناخب رمز للتصويت من منزله، ونرجو ان تنتهي الانتخابات من دون إشكالات— Lebanese Presidency (@LBpresidency) May 8, 2022
While opposition figures have placed their hopes on a diaspora vote, many analysts believe the status quo will prevail.
The election is the first since the beginning of the economic crisis and the deadly port explosion in Beirut in 2020, with many blaming the political elite for widespread corruption and ineptitude.
According to the official National News Agency, more than 194,000 people from 48 nations have registered to vote on Sunday.
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Long lineups were reported outside the embassy in Paris, and voting was also conducted in Canada and the United States.
More than 18,000 Lebanese voted in an earlier phase on Friday in nine Arab states and Iran, with voter turnout hitting 59 percent, a tiny rise of two percent over 2018 votes.
For the second time in Lebanon's history, residents living abroad have the opportunity to vote for their 128 MPs.
While voter registration is increasing, it is still low among the millions of Lebanese living overseas.
The Lebanese pound has lost more than 90% of its value since 2019, and poverty rates have risen to more than 80% of the population.
According to the World Bank, the current economic crisis is one of the worst since the mid-nineteenth century. Authorities have failed to chart a way out of the situation on numerous occasions.