Lebanese Parliament Votes To Move Elections To March 27, 2022

Lebanon Elections Explained

The Lebanese Parliament voted to exceptionally hold the upcoming parliamentary elections on March 27.

Previously, the elections would have taken place in May.

The Lebanese diaspora has already started to register online, and registration is open until November 20th. However, it is unclear if moving the elections earlier will affect the registration end date.

According to the 2017 Electoral Law, the diaspora is allowed to vote for 6 additional seats, a decision mostly contested by Hezbollah since they feel that they’re at a disadvantage. Due to international sanctions, Hezbollah cannot freely campaign outside of the country.

Activists are also campaigning against the implementation of this law, citing discrimination concerns as it limits the voting power of Lebanese abroad.

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This law restricts the Lebanese abroad’s representation to 6 seats, rather than being able to vote equally with the population in Lebanon.

Awareness campaigns encouraged the Lebanese diaspora not to register abroad if they know they will be able to fly to Lebanon during elections. If a Lebanese person doesn’t register abroad, they are able to vote at their district in Lebanon when physically present.

The summer season attracts a large amount of Lebanese living abroad to spend their vacation in Lebanon. Many Lebanese had plans to fly in for the elections and start their vacation early in order to vote in person.

The diaspora’s votes may hold a greater weight than usual; it is estimated that up to 300,000 people have fled Lebanon in the last two years due to the severe crises.

Gebran Bassil, leader of the Free Patriotic Movement party, opposed the decision, saying they would challenge it at the Constitutional Council.

Update: Parliament votes to remove the restriction of 6 MPs only on Lebanese diaspora.

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Lebanese Parliament Votes To Move Elections To March 27, 2022

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