British Embassy statement post Lebanon’s parliamentary elections

The British Embassy in Beirut congratulates Lebanon for holding parliamentary elections on time and welcomes the participation of many Lebanese people in the democratic process despite challenging circumstances. We commend the security institutions for maintaining security and order on elections day. We also applaud polling station staff for their contribution to the electoral process and the Lebanese diplomats who arranged out of country voting, including in the UK.

We welcome the increase in the number of female candidates elected. The UK is a proud advocate of the importance of increased participation of women in political life, including through our collaboration with UN Women to build capacity for female candidates.

However, the UK shares concerns raised by the European Union’s Elections Observation Mission’s finding that vote buying and clientelism overshadowed elections. We are especially concerned by reports of intimidation, lack of access for voters with disabilities and problems with the lack of secrecy of the vote. These represent clear violations of international standards and fundamental principles of democracy. It is disappointing that the Lebanese authorities have not implemented any of the recommendations made by the EU Elections Observation Mission in 2018.

It is now time for action. Lebanon’s new Members of Parliament must put aside their differences to work together in the interests of the Lebanese people. We urge the new parliament to proceed urgently to form an inclusive new government that is empowered to take forward the essential reform agenda, including finalising the agreement with the International Monetary Fund to get Lebanon on the path to recovery. The UK stands ready to support this process and the people of Lebanon who deserve a brighter future.

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