On Monday, the Arab League mission to monitor the Lebanese elections issued a preliminary statement, noting the following:
The mission recorded a high mobilization number of army and police personnel in anticipation of what would hinder normal voting.
Delay of the opening of some polling stations,
A big presence of delegates of candidates and political bodies in some of the polling stations.
Electoral propaganda and attempts to influence voters.
Polling station staff were sometimes not sufficiently aware of the counting and its procedures, which requires training courses for relevant staff in the future.
The Arab League mission emphasized the need to apply criminal procedures against violators in order to preserve the right to free voting.
“In this context, the mission regrets the announcements by government sources and observers about the violence and clashes that marred the election day. The team in Zahle district recorded an unfortunate confrontation between supporters of two rival parties,” commented the mission.
It added that the current electoral law does not ensure enough women’s representation “in the absence of an electoral quota for women, this may require the legislature to consider the democratization of the electoral system.”
It also commented on the imbalance surrounding the exceeding of the electoral spending ceiling and asked to eliminate vote-buying in order “to ensure the right of free and equal choice of voters.”
The monitors also recorded breaches of electoral silence.
The Arab League mission will issue a final report later on, including detailed observations, a final assessment, and recommendations.