The European Union (EU EOM) Lebanon 2018 deployed 13 teams of short-term observers to 12 cities in ten countries for the European out-of-country voting (OCV) in Lebanon’s parliamentary elections. The EU EOM also had teams in several different cities of France and Germany, where the greatest concentration of Lebanese nationals live. Many of these observers will travel on to Lebanon to observe the 6 May voting around the country.
EU EOM Chief Observer Elena Valenciano, a Member of the European Parliament from Spain, said: “I was very pleased to see the out-of-country voting in Europe. This is an important event reflecting a long-held aspiration of members of the Lebanese diaspora, happening for the first time.
“So far, our observers have reported that voting has been orderly, peaceful, with no reports of serious incidents, and respectful of the procedures laid down for the conduct of the OCV. They also reported a widespread presence at polling stations of party and candidate agents across the political spectrum.”
Mme. Valenciano continued: “Our observers will pay particular attention to the packing and sealing of ballots just before they are despatched to Lebanon. On arrival in Lebanon, many of the same observers will be present when the envelopes, which are to be stored in the National Bank, are opened and the ballots in them are sorted and sent to the relevant minor district for counting.”
She also noted instances reported by observers of a number of voters in several countries not finding their name on the polling station list despite having registered correctly.
On the 6 May election day, the EU EOM will have around 130 observers across the country, including 24 long-term observers, who have been reporting on campaign issues since 10 April, members of an observation delegation from the European Parliament and observers from the embassies of European Union member states as well as Norway and Switzerland.