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ELECTIONS 2022

Guterres calls for ‘free and transparent’ elections on May 15

Guterres calls for ‘free and transparent’ elections on May 15

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (File photo Angela Weiss/AFP)

BEIRUT — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for “free, transparent, honest and inclusive parliamentary elections in Lebanon on May 15”. The elections kicked off Friday for Lebanese residing in Iran and nine Arab countries.

Here’s what we know:

  • In his semi-annual report presented to the UN Security Council Thursday, Guterres aurged a “free, transparent and honest” parliament election in Lebanon, calling for the rapid formation of a new government with “full participation of youth and women.”

  • After the parliamentary elections, a new cabinet should be formed in Lebanon, according to Article 69 of the Constitution.

  • The secretary-general reiterated the international community’s call to disarm Hezbollah, urging the government to “exercise its sovereignty over all Lebanese territory.”

  • “Hezbollah’s large military capabilities, which are beyond the control of the Lebanese state, are a source of great concern,” said Guterres.

  • “I continue to urge the Lebanese government and armed forces to take all measures to prevent Hezbollah or any other armed group from having weapons and acquiring military capabilities beyond state control,” he said. “This is a violation of Security Council resolutions.”

  • Guterres added that “Hezbollah's participation in the war in Syria [since 2013, alongside forces of the Assad regime] threatens Lebanon and its stability, and [may foment] regional conflicts.”

  • “Political polarization in Lebanon has deepened, and the Lebanese people are fighting to ensure their basic needs,” continued Guterres.

  • The Secretary-General also deplored that no one has yet been punished for the port explosion that tore through Beirut on August 4, 2020, though the Lebanese pleaded for “truth and justice.” The investigation conducted by Judge Tarek Bitar has been stalled for several months because of a series of appeals brought against him by the officials prosecuted in the case.

  • In this context, the UN Secretary-General called for a “rapid and transparent investigation” to be conducted in this case, stressing the importance of “respecting the independence of the judiciary.”


BEIRUT — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for “free, transparent, honest and inclusive parliamentary elections in Lebanon on May 15”. The elections kicked off Friday for Lebanese residing in Iran and nine Arab countries.Here’s what we know:  • In his semi-annual report presented to the UN Security Council Thursday, Guterres aurged a “free, transparent and...