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Lebanese President Michel Suleiman delivered on Thursday evening a televised speech in which he urged the Lebanese expatriates to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming 2013 parliamentary elections.

“Our concern today is to communicate with them and to use their expertise in establishing a modern and fair state. It is their right to participate in Lebanese elections and vote,” Suleiman said

His speech coincided with the launching of the campaign titled:

“The Expatriates’ Right in the 2013 Elections.”

Suleiman said that the cabinet transferred a draft law to parliament on the expatriates’ right to vote in the 2013 parliamentary elections.

Suleiman added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is trying to facilitate for Lebanese working and living abroad to register at consulates and embassies in their current countries of residence.

The president added that Lebanese expatriates who currently do not possess Lebanese nationality have the right to restore it.

“Let it be known to everyone that granting expats the nationality does not aim to alter political formulas.” A possible reference to the Taef accord which allocates 50 % of the parliament seats to the Muslim communities and 50 % to the Christian communities

“Your country is proud of you as you are of your country… represent Lebanon as best as you can”, he told the expatriates.

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