European Union Election Observation Mission
Lebanon 2018

"Well conducted elections, but action needed to improve access to political power for women," Chief Observer Elena Valenciano

08/05/2018 - 16:55
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Chief Observer Elena Valenciano presented the EU EOM preliminary statement on Lebanon's 6 May parliamentary elections, describing them as well conducted, but exposing the need for an injection of reforms, including action on improving access to political power for women and on strengthening supervision of campaign finance.

EU EOM Lebanon 2018 press conference for preliminary statement 8 May

Presenting the preliminary statement to journalists in Beirut, the Chief Observer said of the recently held elections: “Some clear facts emerged from the campaign and election day process. First, it was generally peaceful, with only a few incidents of violence or confrontation. Second, real innovations were introduced, extending the vote to expatriates, making voting more secret and changing the system to a proportional one.

“But it’s clear also that more needs to be done to facilitate the participation of women in politics in this country. Affirmative measures were not included in the electoral law agreed in 2017 and, despite the big increase in female candidates in 2018 (86), and the small increase in female MPs (6), there is room for further representation.”

Mme. Valenciano, who is a Member of the European Parliament from Spain, also called for the supervisory and sanctioning powers of the Supervisory Commission for Elections (SCE), to be strengthened, saying: “We will be making recommendations which could improve the regulations, and their implementation, governing campaign spending. We think this could make the playing field, which the electoral law has opened up to a degree, more even for all."

On election day, the EU EOM had over 132 observers on the ground, consisting of long and short-term observers from all Member States of the EU, a European Parliamentary delegation led by Mr Jose Ignacio Salafranca (MEP from Spain) and more than 40 members of EU embassies in Beirut, plus Norway and Switzerland. They covered election day activities in 527 polling stations, allowing representative samples to be made on such issues as the secrecy and integrity of the vote, performance of the electoral authorities and access for people with disabilities. This sampling also included EU EOM observation of the expatriate out-of-country voting in ten European countries and early voting in Lebanon on 3 May.

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