Lebanon PM urges expats to register to vote in 2013


Prime Minister Najib Mikati urged Lebanese expatriates on Saturday to register for voting with the Lebanese embassies to be able to participate in the 2013 parliamentary elections.

During a dinner banquet last Friday evening in , Kinshasa , DR Congo , Mikati addressed the Lebanese community , by saying: “register your names with the Lebanese embassies and missions to participate in the parliamentary elections next year.”

He also announced that the diplomatic appointments will be made soon, “which enhances the Lebanese diplomatic activity after a period of stagnation and recession.”

The cabinet approved last April a polling mechanism for the expatriates who will participate in the 2013 parliamentary elections, and decided last August to add 6 MPs to represent the expatriate community which will result in a new parliament of 134 MPs instead of the current 128 .

Mikati is DR Congo to participate in a three day summit of French-speaking nations. Leaders from 75-nation Francophonie will participate in the summit.

So far very few expats have registered to vote. Phalange party MP Sami Gemayel questioned on Friday the number of registered expat voters provided by the Lebanese Foreign Ministry and called them ” not credible”. “I do not believe the numbers provided by the Foreign Ministry concerning expat voters,” Gemayel told MTV, adding: “No rational person could believe that there are zero Lebanese expats living in Canada who want to cast their vote.”

Gemayel comments come after Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said on Thursday,that 3009 Lebanese voters have registered for expat voting, adding that 7000 others have expressed their readiness to do so.

There are more Lebanese living abroad than in Lebanon. In Canada the number of Lebanese is around 450,000… in Brazil there are 6-8 million people of Lebanese origin while the total population of Lebanon is 4 millions .