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ELECTIONS 2022

Aoun says elections will bring only ‘minor changes’

Aoun says elections will bring only ‘minor changes’

Lebanese President Michel Aoun during a press conference in Baabda on Oct. 14, 2021. (Credit: Dalati and Nohra)

BEIRUT — President Michel Aoun anticipates that Sunday’s parliamentary elections will only lead to “minor changes” on the local political scene and that the diaspora votes will not have a strong impact on the overall results. The president’s comments came during an interview with al-Joumhouria newspaper that was published on Tuesday morning. In the interview, Aoun is also cited as saying he will leave Baabda Palace at the end of his term on Oct. 31, even in the absence of a successor or an effective, new government.

Here’s what we know:

    • In this interview, the president said he was satisfied with the diaspora elections, which took place last Friday and Sunday. “I was constantly asked if the elections would take place and I heard that they would not be held on the scheduled date, but I always replied that they would be held on time, in accordance with constitutional deadlines,” he said.

    • Aoun estimated that “the votes of emigrants will not cause major changes in the results.” In the elections held last Friday and Sunday, many diaspora voters spread across 59 countries expressed hope for a change in the political leadership in the country.

    • “Elections will only result in minor changes” in the distribution of seats, Aoun predicted, arguing that the current electoral law, which was adopted in 2016 and is based on a proportional voting system that divides the country into 15 constituencies, “guarantees the representation of the majority and minority with their real weight.” This law “is one of the achievements of the current mandate,” he added, highlighting that he had campaigned for its adoption “even if it is not in the interest of the Free Patriotic Movement,” the party he founded.

    • The president denounced “immoral actions” and clientelism and said that if “some voters accept” bribery to help them cope with the crisis, “they have the right to receive this money and then vote according to their convictions.”

    • Aoun said that he would leave the Presidential Palace on Oct. 31, even if the presidential election does not lead “for any reason” to the election of a new president. “The cabinet will be responsible for leading the country during the transition phase,” he added. And if, by then, a new cabinet could not be formed after the legislative elections, “the current government, which will be responsible for managing current affairs, will manage things, even if its prerogatives are limited.”

    • Responding to a question about FPM leader Gebran Bassil’s possible candidacy for the presidency, Aoun said he “does not have a presidential candidate. Gebran Bassil is a person with strong national sentiment, who has been the subject of an assassination attempt [on his political career], but who has escaped thanks to his strength and stability,” he added. “His succession to the presidency under these conditions would be a difficult and delicate mission,” he added.


BEIRUT — President Michel Aoun anticipates that Sunday’s parliamentary elections will only lead to “minor changes” on the local political scene and that the diaspora votes will not have a strong impact on the overall results. The president’s comments came during an interview with al-Joumhouria newspaper that was published on Tuesday morning. In the interview, Aoun is also cited as...