Lebanon to hold parliamentary elections amid economic collapse

Beirut: Lebanon is preparing to hold parliamentary elections on May 15 amid a severe economic collapse that the country has been enduring for two years and the possibility of the country sliding into further deterioration in the coming months, local media reported.

Despite the extent of the economic, social and livelihood collapse that Lebanon is experiencing and the elections will also be the first since a nationwide popular uprising in late 2019 that sought to change the status quo of government. It also comes after the explosion of Beirut Port in August 2020, which killed more than 200 people and flattened several neighbourhoods in the heart of the capital.

At midnight on Tuesday, the door for registration for the parliamentary elections in Lebanon closes with 1,043 candidates— including 155 women, which is 15 per cent of the registered candidates.

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2022 parliamentary elections witnessed the highest number of candidates in Lebanon in the last 15 years.

Parliamentary elections are held in Lebanon every four years, according to the distribution adopted since the Taif Agreement in 1989, with 128 seats divided equally between Muslims and Christians throughout the country.

The 128 seats are distributed as follows: 28 for Sunnis, 28 for Shiites, 8 for Druze, 34 for Maronites, 14 for Orthodox, 8 for Catholics, 5 for Armenians, 2 seats for Alawites, and 1 seat for minorities within the Christian community.

Candidates in the upcoming elections have the right to withdraw their applications within 15 days after registration closes. Candidate registration to vote closed on March 15.

Former premier Tammam Salam and Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al Hariri also announced that they will not run in upcoming parliamentary elections.

On March 15, 2022, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced that he won’t be running for his country’s upcoming parliamentary elections.

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora is the latest to announce that he will not run in the upcoming Lebanese elections.

As per media reports, the withdrawal of such influential figures may affect voter turnout.

The head of the Beirut Center for Research and Information, Abdo Saad, said the Lebanese did not have the enthusiasm to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections, unlike previous votes, Anadolu Agency reported.

“This year, the Lebanese are busy (trying) to secure their basic needs, in light of a severe economic crisis, a dearth of job opportunities, and a scarcity of fuel, commodities and basic products,” Abdo added.

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