Lebanese diaspora cast votes in parliamentary election
Lebanese expatriates in nine Arab countries and Iran cast ballots on Friday.
Lebanese expatriates began voting in parliamentary elections on Friday, more than two years into an unprecedented economic crisis that has prompted a mass exodus.
On Friday, expatriates in nine Arab countries - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Syria, the Sultanate of Oman, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Iraq - and Iran cast ballots.
According to Lebanon's official National News Agency (NNA), approximately 36% of registered overseas electors had voted by the afternoon, with approximately 11,000 ballots cast.
Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib expressed optimism for a 70% turnout, noting that "voters in the Gulf usually rush to the ballot boxes in the evening."
As of 6:00 pm today, Beirut time, the National News Agency reported that the number of Lebanese voters abroad reached 12,797 out of 30930 voters, and the overall percentage reached 41.37%, according to the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The highest voter turnout was in Iran with a percentage up to 71.81%, followed by Syria with 70.63%.
Al Mayadeen TV is following up closely the elections abroad through its correspondents.
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65% of Tehran's 642 registered voters have already voted and approximately 30% of over 13,000 registered voters in Saudi Arabia had voted by Friday afternoon, according to NNA.
On Sunday, voting will take place in 48 other countries.
More than 225,000 people have registered to vote overseas, up from around 92,000 in the 2018 elections, though only 50,000 of them voted at the time.
Once voting is completed, officials will ship the ballot boxes to Lebanon's Central Bank via private companies. After the May 15 elections, votes will be counted.