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President Aoun concerned lack of funding could be used as pretext to cancel parliamentary elections

President Aoun concerned lack of funding could be used as pretext to cancel parliamentary elections

Lebanese President Michel Aoun, December 27, 2021 at Baabda Palace. (Credit: Dalati & Nohra/Reuters)

BEIRUT — In an interview with Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, President Michel Aoun said that lack of state funds for organizing the parliamentary elections scheduled for May 15 could be used as a pretext to cancel the vote.

Here’s what we know:

    • Aoun told Al-Akhbar, which published the interview Saturday, that “the question of funding” the elections was looming large, adding that this is why he might have “fears about the elections and their cancellation.”

    • The president said that the Interior Ministry, which supervises the elections, has stated it does not have the necessary funds for organizing voting for Lebanese nationals casting their ballots from abroad and at the national level in Lebanon.

    • On Feb. 4, the UN Security Council in a statement called on the Lebanese cabinet to help “enable the Supervisory Commission for Elections to carry out its mandate,” after its head told The National that the body lacked funding to conduct its duties.

    • “I’ll tell you why this commission was created,” the watchdog’s head, Nadim Abdelmalak, told The National. “It’s to satisfy the international community and say that Lebanon is working according to transparency and accountability, but unfortunately that is only in name,” he added.

    • Aoun reiterated his support for holding the vote on time. The Free Patriotic Movement, which was founded by Aoun and is led by his son-in-law MP Gebran Bassil, had politically fought for the vote to be pushed back from a date in March and for expatriates to vote in a specially-designated district.

    • FPM leaders reportedly have concerns that discontent in Lebanon has shrunk their popular base and that the expats’ vote in several key constituencies could swing key races against the party. 


BEIRUT — In an interview with Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, President Michel Aoun said that lack of state funds for organizing the parliamentary elections scheduled for May 15 could be used as a pretext to cancel the vote.Here’s what we know:    • Aoun told Al-Akhbar, which published the interview Saturday, that “the question of funding” the elections was looming large,...