Lebanese expatriates started voting in the Arab world for parliamentary elections last Friday. A first for the small country’s huge diaspora.
There are 82.900 people from diaspora registered to take part in the election
Historic moment. This is how we can describe this moment for the 12,611 Lebanese voters registered in the Middle East. Voters elsewhere in the world will vote on Sunday, a week before the May 6 polling in Lebanon, which has not renewed its parliament since 2009.
For this election, a new electoral code has come into operation to elect the 128 seats in Lebanon’s parliament. The new law introduces a proportional list-based system.
But the numbers of registered Lebanese are far from those expected for the election. Indeed among the estimated one million-plus Lebanese nationals scattered across the globe, of which around two-thirds qualify to vote, a total of only 82,900 people have registered. But for a first try, “it’s a satisfactory” number, a diplomat told AFP.
The numbers of voters registered outside Lebanon is a fraction of the 3.7 million eligible voters at home. That is why the political weight of Lebanon’s diaspora vote this year will be “symbolic”.
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