Lebanon heads to polls under shadow of crises

Vote held amid Lebanon’s worst economic crisis in decades

2022-05-14 17:48:19

BEIRUT, Lebanon

Lebanon will go to general elections on Sunday for the first time since the 2019 popular protests that were triggered by poor economic conditions.

The vote is held amid the Arab country's worst economic crisis in decades

Number of voters

3.91 million voters are eligible to elect 128 parliamentarians.

Lebanese in 58 countries voted in the polls on May 6 and 8.

A total of 103 lists made up of 718 candidates are competing in the elections to win a seat in the 128-member parliament.

Around 300 observers from the EU, the Arab League and the International Organization of La Francophonie will observe Sunday's elections.

Future Movement of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri will not take part in the polls as its leader stepped down from politics.

Iran and Saudi Arabia support rival parties in the elections with Tehran backing the March 8 Party while Riyadh supports the March 14 alliance.

Multiple crises

Lebanese people's trust in political parties has been severely damaged as a result of multiple crises since the last elections in the country in May 2018.

- In Oct. 2019, public demonstrations forced the Hariri government to resign.

- The catastrophic Beirut port explosion on Aug. 4, 2020 killed more than 200 people and left massive trail of damage.

- Economic crisis worsened due to local currency losing its value against the dollar, draining the country's foreign exchange reserves and causing a severe fuel shortage.

- Lebanon's former Information Minister George Kordahi caused the country's stand-off with Gulf states after criticizing the Yemen war in October 2021.

- Power outage has been common in the country, sometimes reaching 20 hours a day.

- 74% of the Lebanese population are believed to live on the poverty line as the unemployment rate soars to 44%.

- Minimum wage in the country slumped from $440 to below $30.