Politics, World, Middle East

Ballot counting begins in Lebanon's general elections

Voter turnout exceeds 50% in many areas of country, says Prime Minister Najib Mikati

Stephanie Radi   | 15.05.2022
Ballot counting begins in Lebanon's general elections Security forces stand guard as people arrive to cast their votes at a polling station during general elections in Tripoli, Lebanon on May 15, 2022. ( Ahmad Said - Anadolu Agency )

BEIRUT

Election authorities in Lebanon started the counting process on Sunday as polling stations for the country's parliamentary elections closed their doors.

Polls stations across Lebanon opened early at 7.00 a.m. (0400GMT) and closed at 7.00 p.m., with over 3.91 million voters over the age of 21 eligible to cast a ballot.

The counting process started in the presence of the representatives of the competing lists and candidates, the Lebanese official news agency said.

Following the end of voting, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati voiced hope that the elections would bring a new parliament that helps the country recover from its economic crisis.

He added that voter turnout in the elections, which exceeded 50% in many areas, along with a decision to allow Lebanese expatriates to vote, were important achievements for the country.

A total of 718 candidates are running for places in the 128-seat parliament, according to the Interior Ministry.

Initial results are expected to come out on Monday morning, with the Interior Ministry to announce the official results later.

The Lebanese elections are taking place as the country has been grappling with a severe economic crisis since late 2019, including massive currency depreciation and shortages in fuel and medical materials.

After voting concluded, Turkiye praised the peaceful conduct of the elections in Lebanon, voicing hope that their results contribute to social peace, tranquility, and stability.

In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry also said it hoped that a new government is formed as soon as possible to effectively combat the challenges Lebanon is facing.

It added that Ankara would continue to support the Lebanese people and state as a strong defender and supporter of the country's sovereignty, unity, stability, and security.

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