Lebanese in more than 40 countries began voting today (Sunday) to elect 128 members of the new parliament. It seems that many voters are keen to support the new faces after Lebanon experienced its worst crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war, which led to widespread poverty and caused a wave of emigration from the country.
Only less than 200,000 Lebanese abroad are eligible to vote in the first parliamentary elections since the 2019 financial collapse and the Beirut port explosion that killed more than 215 people and destroyed large parts of the capital in August 2020. Voters will cast their ballots in Lebanon on the 15th. May this year. Observers expect a large number of Lebanese living abroad will vote for candidates from a coalition of activists and independents who gained fame during the 2019 protests against the ruling elite that has been in power for decades.
Samer Sabi said; A truck driver casts his voice in the Australian capital, Sydney: “I want change … I do not want the same people, the same people every four years, and if it is not them, their children will come and if their children do not come, their relatives are coming. What about us? ” Australia, where a boy has lived for seven years, is among the countries with the largest number of Lebanese foreigners along with Canada, the United States, France, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
Today, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib said turnout in Dubai reached 15 percent in just two hours; The queue in front of the Lebanese consulate stretched for about a kilometer despite the extremely hot weather.
Bou Habib added that the turnout in 10 countries, mostly Arab, the day before yesterday was around 60 per cent, which is in line with the turnout of residents abroad in the 2018 election, but support for existing parties is still clear; More than 20 people sang in support of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri near the Berlin polling station.
Anton Wahb, 62, a Sydney construction worker who only voted for the second time since leaving Lebanon in the 1970s, was among those expressing enthusiasm for change.
“This is the first time we have seen such a large number come to vote,” he said. Because we want change with new and younger people. New people, new blood. “” Go and vote, that’s all, “he added. That’s what we want you to do.