The Lebanese expatriates are preparing to vote in the parliamentary elections next Friday, in the Arab countries that adopt Friday as a weekly holiday, with the exception of the United Arab Emirates, and in the rest of the countries next Sunday.
The number of expatriates who will vote in the parliamentary elections, according to figures from the Personal Status Directorate at the Ministry of Interior, has reached 225,114 voters.
The Ministry of Interior and Municipalities in Beirut will transmit the results of the expatriate elections directly from 205 polling stations distributed in 58 countries.
In this context, electoral expert Kamal Feghali expected in an interview with “Sputnik” that “the percentage of voting in the Arab countries will be high and may reach 65, 70%, after the percentage in the last elections was 54%, and the reason is due to the opening of more centers and that those registered in Arab countries have identities and passports,” he said, adding that “there is an issue we do not know the extent of, which is that the opportunity for Muslim holidays has been extended in some Arab countries, and this matter may reflect negatively because residents abroad have taken the opportunity to come to Lebanon while they are registered to vote in the elections.”
He also stressed that “the expatriate vote will have an impact, but not anywhere and with the same force. 4 constituencies will have a direct impact because a number of voters are registered in them, and each constituency whose size is equal to two seats, the “third north”, “the first Beirut” and “the second Beirut” and “” Mount Lebanon Fourth, “In each of these constituencies, if the voter rate is 70%, they will be affected by the size of two seats. In other constituencies, one seat except in Akkar, Western Bekaa and Rashaya, the impact is less because the number of registered persons is few.”
Feghali also pointed out that “the beneficiaries of the expatriate votes in the past elections, and the parties that showed relative effectiveness more than others, are the “Lebanese Forces”, the “Free Patriotic Movement”, the “Association of Projects” Al-Ahbash and the “Tashnaq” party, and these are the parties that were more Organized by the expatriates, this time in many areas they are still the same and it will appear if there is someone new in the upcoming elections.”
According to Feghali, the number of Lebanese voters in Egypt is 707, Saudi Arabia 13,095, Syrian Arab Republic 1,010, Iraq 327, Jordan 482, UAE 25,052, Kuwait 5,752, Qatar 7,339, Sultanate of Oman 901, Kingdom of Bahrain 637.
For his part, writer and political analyst Qassem Kassir told “Sputnik” that “according to indicators, the turnout will be heavy in some Arab countries, especially in the Gulf countries,” noting that “the country with the most density of voters is Dubai due to the high number of Lebanese in it.”
Kassir said that “mostly in these countries, the Lebanese Forces and the opposition forces will have the largest share in light of the decline or non-participation of the Future Movement in nominations and elections.”
He also explained that “there is information from the offices of the Lebanese forces, which began to be active in a number of Arab countries in order to obtain the highest percentage of votes,” pointing out that in some circles the voices of expatriates will have an impact, especially in some districts where the competition will be intense.
In addition, Kassir stressed that “practically, there is no doubt that the parliamentary elections will take place as long as they will start tomorrow in the Arab countries. God forbid, if nothing big happens in Lebanon during the next week, the next parliamentary elections will take place according to what the Ministry of Interior has determined.”
Parliamentary elections will be held according to the proportional law and the preferential vote, on May 15th on Lebanese soil, where 397,073 voters will be able to choose 128 deputies for the new parliament.