Bassil trying to extend deadline for Lebanese expats to register to vote in upcoming elections

lebanon electionsLebanon Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil reportedly submitted on Friday a draft law to extend the deadline for Lebanese expats to register their names in order to vote in the country’s’ parliamentary elections slated in May 2018.

“I have presented a draft law to the government asking for the extension of the deadline set for Lebanese expats to register for the parliamentary polls,” Bassil said on Twitter.

The Minister said the “previous experiment” was successful and there is still time “plus, tens of Lebanese wish to register and cast their votes. We are ready for that. Anyone wishes to prevent them?” he asked.

In November, Bassil said that more than 85,000 Lebanese expatriates registered to vote from abroad in the elections.

Lebanese legislators ratified a new parliamentary election law in June that will allow Lebanese expatriates to vote from their countries of residence instead of having to travel to Lebanon.

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq last week that the situation in Lebanon is “stable” despite the crisis that emerged after the resignation of PM Saad Hariri, and asserted that the parliamentary elections will be held right on schedule.

“Clearly we are in a stable situation despite the crisis. PM Hariri will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday to open the door to greater stability,” Mashnouq told reporters after a meeting he held with President Michel Aoun at the Presidential Palace in Baabda.