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ELECTIONS 2022

EU Election Observation Mission presents recommendations based on May 2022 elections

EU Election Observation Mission presents recommendations based on May 2022 elections

The European Union's Election Observation Mission in May 2022 presented its final report on Monday. (Credit; Ghadir Hamadi/L'Orient Today)

BEIRUT — Representatives of the European Union’s Election Observation Mission to Lebanon in May 2022, returned to Lebanon to present the mission’s final report on Monday.

The report includes 23 recommendations to improve the future electoral processes in the country, among them giving the Supervisory Committee for Elections the mandate and capacity to check and audit all personal accounts of the elections candidates and their children and spouse, by lifting the bank secrecy on these accounts and creating a dedicated unit within the SCE for this purpose.

Another recommendation is to strictly regulate the provision of goods, services or payments by institutions owned or managed by candidates or parties including companies, foundations and charities during the electoral campaign period, to avoid being used for electoral purposes.

The recommendations will be discussed on various panels in the following week.

Chief Observer György Hölvényi told L’Orient Today, that the EU met with Lebanese politicians, religious leaders, and civil society members and has “received good feedback, and willingness to cooperate from the locals.”

A preliminary report, published in May, noted widespread practices of voter-buying that the observers said had “distorted the level playing field and seriously affected the voters’ choice,” as well as “localized tensions” on the day of elections, as well as a “lack of training” by poll workers.

The delegation noted “localized tensions” on the day of elections, an evident “lack of training” by poll workers, and that campaign representatives “were present in high numbers, controlling voter attendance, and often displaying intrusive behavior,” adding that “the secrecy of the vote was not always guaranteed.”

The preliminary report had also noted that “freedom of expression was mostly respected during the campaign period,” although there were some cases of intimidation.

Hölvényi stated at the time that the election results are "valid" despite noting several electoral violations.

The EU observers were deployed around the country beginning March 27 and in polling centers in all districts and sub-districts of Lebanon on election day.

The EU had 167 observers that met with hundreds of interlocutors and that the findings published in the report are based on corporate facts and credible sources.

Hölvényi stated that freedom of the media was generally respected during the campaign and elections period with a few exceptions where “journalists faced violence while doing their job.”

Hölvényi stated that the EU will work with the parliamentary committees to ensure that the upcoming presidential elections take place on time.

Hölvényi said that important reforms are needed to address legislative gaps since Lebanon “adheres to International commitments.”

Hölvényi said that the EU observers documented the distribution of bread, food parcels, and medical supplies by political party offices to try and win the vote of citizens.

Intimidation of female candidates was also observed. In one of the recommendations of the report, the EU EOM stated that Lebanon should “adopt temporary special measures, to increase women’s representation in the parliament.”

In 2018, only six women had made it to parliament; while however in the 2022 elections eight women made it, four from the opposition groups, and four from the established sectarian political parties.

“The EU considers itself a friend and neighbor of Lebanon, and is ready to help Lebanon in setting the framework for future electoral process in Lebanon,” Hölvényi concluded.


BEIRUT — Representatives of the European Union’s Election Observation Mission to Lebanon in May 2022, returned to Lebanon to present the mission’s final report on Monday. The report includes 23 recommendations to improve the future electoral processes in the country, among them giving the Supervisory Committee for Elections the mandate and capacity to check and audit all personal accounts...