TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The Lebanese are geared up for the country’s first parliamentary elections in nine years, as the election campaign period came to an end on Friday night.
On Sunday, more than 3.6 million registered voters in Lebanon will be eligible to choose from among 583 candidates competing for 128 parliamentary seats.
The candidates are spread across 77 lists in 15 districts, which have 27 sub-districts.
For Lebanese nationals living abroad, some polls opened on April 27. Already, almost 66 percent of 12,615 registered voters living in six Arab countries (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) have cast their ballots, marking a first in Lebanese history, according to state-run National News Agency (NNA).
Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil wrote on Twitter that he was "very proud" to witness the first Lebanese expat voting abroad in the country's history, Al Jazeera reported.
Results from the overseas voting will only be published after the closure of polls on May 6. President Michel Aoun has requested a public holiday from May 4 to 8 to "facilitate the electoral process" since many schools will be used as polling stations.
These elections will be the first after nearly a decade of turbulent politics. Since 2009, the Lebanese have watched their government collapse twice (in 2011 and 2013), the presidency sit vacant for 29 months (from 2014 to 2016), and their parliament extend its mandate several times.