A concise guide to Lebanon’s elections
Lebanon– On May 15, Lebanon is holding elections where the people will vote to choose their representatives. The people living abroad will be able to cast their votes from May 6 to 8. The 2019 uprising in October by the younger Lebanese generation was against widespread corruption and deteriorating economic crisis in the country. These elections are aimed to bring in a government that will bring in a solution to solve rising problems in the country.
Catastrophic economic crisis
Lebanon has been struggling under economic crisis that has been further pushed into the most catastrophic crisis in history of the small Mediterranean country. The country’s currency has depreciated its value by over 90 per cent since 2019.
The Beirut port explosion has further aggravated the crisis. The result is high inflation, shortages of food, fuel, medicines and other basic commodities. According to the United Nations, more than 70 per cent of Lebanese population is now living under poverty.
What is Lebanon’s electoral system?
Lebanon holds parliamentary elections every four years. The system is based on a “confessional model” that involves religious communities of the country vote in a system based on their representation proportion. According to critics, this has been one of the prime reasons behind the political government’s failure to effect a change in country.
Crackdown on opposition candidates
Apart from traditional political parties, many independent and younger candidates have registered to contest in the polls. This has been linked to 2019 uprising, also called ‘thawra’ or revolution. Many of these independent candidates have reported of being harassed and even beaten up to prevent them from standing in the polls.
About 4 million Lebanese people are currently eligible to vote. This includes 225,000 people who are living abroad. With many people having left the country since uprising, there has been a surge in number of people living abroad who have registered to vote.
These elections hold the key to bring needed reforms and a change in the political set up of Lebanon. Will the newly elected government curb the widespread corruption in country and bring relief from economic crisis? Share your views in the comments section below.