BEIRUT: The Lebanese Interior Ministry plans to hold parliamentary elections on March 27, 2022, nearly six weeks before the end of the current parliament’s term.
However, the final election date has yet to be confirmed, which has added to the uncertainty many Lebanese feel about their government – or lack of it – over the past two years.
Holding elections in March would shorten the legal deadlines required, while the potential postponement of elections to April would conflict with Ramadan.
“The political class is trying to flee the holding of elections under the current circumstances,” said electoral expert Walid Fakhr El-Din.
“The proof is that we have entered the legal deadlines, but the required dates have not yet been set. There is no time to amend the law, which in practice means that the elections will be postponed. “
A similar scenario also occurred in 2016, he said, which extended the term of parliament.
“It is rumored behind the scenes, within the political class, that the legislative elections could be postponed after the presidential elections, which are scheduled for next October. “
Observers of electoral preparations also believe that the ruling political class has no intention of including expatriates in the vote.
The Interior Ministry started installing computers and prepared the headquarters of the Election Supervisory Authority. But he has not yet asked for changes to the articles of the electoral law relating to the article on the vote of expatriates and the six seats allocated to them.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese Foreign Ministry has already started registering voters abroad and running a media promotion campaign aimed at expatriates to determine whether they prefer to vote in Lebanon or abroad.
Setting an official date for parliamentary elections allows candidates to prepare, especially independent candidates.
The legislative elections are expected to be stormy because the Lebanese people are motivated by political upheavals in a system accused of corruption. They will take place in the presence of international organizations to ensure integrity and credibility.
These organizations have expressed their readiness to provide technical support to the Ministry of the Interior. There are fears that the legislative elections may also fall victim to Lebanon’s economic and financial collapse.
The computers and servers that were used in the last parliamentary elections four years ago have been placed in a warehouse in Karantina, which was near the site of the Beirut port explosion 14 months ago. The level of damage to the equipment remains uncertain.
For two years, the authorities concerned – in flagrant violation of the constitution – have not organized elections following the death or resignation of 10 deputies.
The result, as Deputy Speaker of Parliament Elie Ferzli said, is “an attempt to produce a modern civil law that takes into account the aspirations of the Lebanese people”.