| 5 March 2024, Tuesday |

Is the megacenter an excuse to eliminate the parliamentary elections?

Adopting the megacenter in Parliamentary elections that will be held in May is a topic raised by the President of the Republic and the Free Patriotic Movement after their failure to amend the Expatriate Elections Law in order to eliminate this entitlement.

The Megacentre means that citizens can vote in their place of residence after they register their names in the governorate in which they reside, therefore they are linked to prior registration. According to the proportional election law, Lebanon will need to establish 10 centers, allowing about 500,000 Lebanese to vote in their places of residence.

The megacenter is vital to increase the voters’ turnout and is considered a reform step in the electoral law. However, presenting this concept two months before the elections raises many question marks about the intention of those who propose it.

The Ministry of Interior and Municipalities confirms that it is impossible to approve the major polling stations within the imposed deadlines amid the need to make legal amendments, which was denied by Minister of Justice Henry El Khoury.

In its study, the Ministry of the Interior confirmed that there are several obstacles that prevent the implementation of the megacenter, the most important of which is that the time required to complete the preparations shall not be less than 5 months, as well as the logistical and procedural obstacles, and the requirements in terms of human and material resources. The total cost of the project is more than $5 million.

The Minister of Tourism Walid Nassar dared during the ministerial session to suggest postponing the elections until September, saying: “If we are not able to hold elections, let us be frank with the citizens.”

We ask you Minister to be honest with the Lebanese about the fact that the Free Patriotic Movement desires to postpone the elections, with the aim of preventing a caretaker government for four months, and with the aim of issuing appointments and formations that it cannot undertake under a caretaker government before the end of President Aoun’s term on October 31.

In Breif, the megacenter will be decided in the ministerial session next Thursday, and then it will be clear whether the elections will take place on time or whether the ‘Orange era’ will succeed in postponing it.

  • Sawt Beirut International