President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, expressed Lebanon’s welcome for the participation of a delegation from the International Francophone Organization in observing the parliamentary elections next Sunday.
President Aoun received the Head of Mission, Mrs. Alda Greoli, accompanied by a delegation, today at Baabda Palace.
The President told Mrs. Greoli that “Lebanon appreciates the Secretary-General of the International Francophone Organization, Mrs. Louise Mushikiwabo, for her initiative to assign a mission from the organization to monitor the elections”.
President Aoun pointed out that all measures have been taken so that the elections takes place in an atmosphere of transparency, freedom and democratic competition.
In addition, the President indicated that there are reports that some candidates have resorted to using electoral money, which requires the intervention of the election supervisory body and the competent judicial authorities to prevent the continuation of these behaviors which could negatively affect the voters’ choices.
Responding to the head of the mission’s questions, President Aoun stated that it was supposed to establish a “megacenter” in a number of Lebanese regions to facilitate the electoral process for voters, especially those who live in the capital and suburbs, but the parliament suspended the megacenter, which leads to fear of a decline voter participation next Sunday.
On the other hand, President Aoun revealed that women’s participation in running for elections was higher than it was in previous election cycles, “And this is a positive issue that it is hoped will develop further in the upcoming elections”.
Finally, the President wished the delegation success in its mission in Lebanon, pointing out that the initiative of the Secretary General of Francophonie confirms the organization’s firm belief in respect for democracy in Lebanon, and also confirms that Lebanon remains a center of cultural radiation in general and Francophonie in particular.
This initiative also falls within the context of the tireless work to open an office for the Middle East in Beirut, which will take place shortly after the parliamentary elections.
For her part, Mrs. Greoli had conveyed to the greetings of the Secretary-General of the International Francophone Organization, thanking the cooperation shown by the Lebanese state in facilitating the mission of the mission.
The mission will remain in Lebanon for ten days to monitor the elections and prepare a detailed report.
Moreover, Mrs. Greoli noted the keenness shown by President Aoun to hold the parliamentary elections on time and to secure the conditions for their success, pointing out the importance of Lebanese women’s candidacy to consolidate democracy, which should not be sold or bought, but rather be applied in full freedom and transparency.
Deputy Prime Minister:
The President met Deputy Premier, Dr. Saadeh Al-Shami.
Al-Shami briefed the President on the results of the talks he held during the past two weeks in Washington with officials of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the US Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Treasury, the European Union Commissioner and the Director of the French Treasury, which tackled the current Lebanese economic situation.
Deputy Premier Al-Shami clarified that the officials he met are awaiting the approval of the reforms that were agreed upon with Lebanon, and some draft laws of which were referred to Parliament.