The Lebanese in More than 40 countries started voting in national elections on Sunday, mainly because many of them are determined to support new faces after Lebanon witnessed the 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 entitled to vote at prime parliamentary elections since the financial collapse of 2019 and the explosion in the port of Beirut that killed more than 215 people and devastated much of the capital in August 2020.
While the voters cast their vote in Lebanon on May 15th.
‘We want to change’
Meanwhile, observers expect large numbers of Lebanese living overseas to vote for candidates from a coalition of activists and independents that gained fame during the 2019 protests against the ruling elite who held power for decades, according to Reuters.
In this context, Samer Sabbi, a truck driver who voted from Sydney in Australia, which has the most Lebanese expatriates, said it wants to change, indicating it doesn’t want the same people every four years.
The enthusiasm for change, in turn, is Anton Wahb, a construction worker from Sydney who has only voted for the second time since leaving Lebanon in the 1970s.
“This is the first time we see such a large number come to vote because we want change with new and younger people. New people, new blood,” he said.
He added: “Go vote, that’s all. This is what we want you to do.”
For his part, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib revealed that voter turnout in Dubai reached 15 percent in only two hours, and the line in front of the Lebanese consulate stretches for about a kilometer, despite the extremely hot climate.
Bou Habib added that the turnout in ten countries, mostly Arabs, was around 60% on Friday, which is consistent with the turnout of overseas residents in the 2018 elections.
Interestingly, the number of registered voters in the ten countries reached 30,929, spread across 13 polling stations.
After the end of the electoral process, the ballot boxes are transported from abroad to Beirut by a shipping company, after having sealed them with red wax, to be sorted. in concomitance with the counting operations in Lebanon after the end of the electoral process on May 15th.
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