Expat voting for Lebanon’s parliamentary elections kicked off in six Arab countries on Friday in the first voting of its kind.
Ballot boxes opened in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman, with Lebanese residing abroad enabled – for the first time in Lebanon’s history – to cast their ballots from overseas.
Over 82,970 Lebanese expats have registered to vote from dozens of countries, with the first phase of voting taking place Friday in Arab countries and the second phase taking place Sunday in other parts of the world.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, described the Lebanese expatriates’ participation in the parliamentary elections from abroad as “paramount”.
“What matters is that today 82970 Lebanese voters are casting their votes; some of them came to the polling stations from distant locations, and this may be a shortcoming, but I promise them that next time there will be more polling stations. We call upon them today to vote, because every vote counts. Let them vote to whoever they want for this is the true richness of Lebanon. (…) This is a battle that we started and will not finish until all the Lebanese abroad recover their nationality and political rights to vote,” Bassil said, as he overlooked the launch of the electoral process in the