| 26 February 2024, Monday |

Shy turnout by candidates, ambiguity in forming electoral lists in some constituencies

After one week, candidacy door to Parliamentary elections scheduled for May 15 will close. According to Sawt Beirut International (SBI) information the number of candidates until Tuesday evening reached 176, and this is considered shy in relation to the remaining few days to submit applications for candidacy. It is likely to witness demand from candidates to present their papers from now until mid-March. According to the sources, the Ministry of Interior departments are preparing to receive the expected large numbers of applications, knowing that on March 15 the doors of the ministry will remain open until midnight.

The names of candidates accepted by the Ministry of Interior will then be announced, and the deadline for withdrawing from the electoral process will be on March 30, provided that the door to form lists closes on April 4. According to Article 52 of the current election law: the candidates must organize themselves in lists, within 40 days before the date of the elections, otherwise the applications of the candidates who did not join the lists will be cancelled.

Despite some voices skeptical about holding these elections and putting some obstacles to postpone it, most of the political parties and forces are preparing to fight the battle at the scheduled time. Although the international community is busy with the developments of the Russian-Ukrainian war, its eyes remain focused on this entitlement, given that any support or aid to Lebanon is linked to implementing the required reforms after the new parliament has been legalized.

In parallel with the ongoing preparations for candidates, and political parties in more than one region, uncertainty and confusion remain dominating the atmosphere of most electoral districts. This confusion is mainly in forming the lists across all territories especially in Beirut, which is witnessing an unprecedented state of confusion, especially in the 2nd district and specifically by the Sunni sect, despite Grand Mufti Abdel Latif Derian’s call to participate massively in elections as candidate and  voters. However, so far and with the lack of clear lists and candidates, all indications show that there will be retraction from Beirut voters to carry out this process, knowing that the percentage of Sunni voters who are eligible to vote is small in relation to their number, even though they constitute the majority, especially in Beirut’s 2nd district.

Some Sunni personalities have not taken their final decision whether to run the elections. Information indicates that some disputes have been recorded between a number of major Beiruti families, over the names of the candidates, as each family considers that it has the right to be represented in the Parliament.

The sources indicated that the size of the Association of Islamic Projects in Beirut that is allied with the Shiite duo in the 2nd district cannot be underestimated, so that its audience of about 12,000 voters usually meet the request of their leadership, and the same case with regard to the Shiite voters in this constituency, taking into account that the Shiites registered on the lists are 75,000 voters, of whom between 20,000 and 25,000 usually vote.

As for the Islamic Group, it is still in the process of consultations with a number of prominent personalities in Beirut in order to be on its lists, and the same applies to a number of independent personalities in this department.

Few days separate us from announcing the alliances and electoral lists. Lebanese citizens must choose the most appropriate candidates in order to make a change in the current political system, which has brought the country to hell, in order to chart a better future for our children.

  • Sawt Beirut International