Voting ends in Lebanese general election

Voting ends in Lebanese general election

Voting ends in Lebanese general election

His father also previously served as prime minister.

"Speaking as a college student, we need jobs, we need more respect, we need to be cured, we need to be helped, we hoped to have everything new, everything better than before", Jalal Bukhari, a 23-year-old college student, told Xinhua at the polling station in the Omar Fakhuri Primary School in southern Beirut, the capital.

Syria's civil war has seen the arrival of over a million refugees into Lebanon, straining the state's resources and leaving rival groups in parliament unable to agree on a president between 2014-16.

Voter apathy at Lebanon is maybe not so surprising given the social and economic upheavals from the country in the past couple of decades.

"This means that I voted, and I'm happy that I voted and took part in change", said Guy Farah, a 36-year-old salesman showing the ink stain on his thumb as he walked out of a Beirut polling station.

Hezbollah's allies include the Shiite Amal Movement led by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, the Christian Free Patriotic Movement established by President Michel Aoun and other groups and individuals that view its weapons as an asset to Lebanon.

"These leaders are destroying properties, not constructing them", stated Ahmad Khashouq, 43, a non-public safety guard in Beirut.

Saudi Arabia's continued interest in Sunni Lebanon was brought into question after Prime Minister Hariri made a surprise resignation during a visit to the country previous year, before withdrawing the resignation days later.

It also promises to shake things up by reorganising Lebanon's electoral map, consolidating 23 districts into 15, and awarding seats by share of the vote received, rather than victor takes all.

The last election was in 2009.

Tens of thousands of Lebanese citizens living aboard already cast their votes earlier this week - the first time such expatriate voting has been allowed. The army ordered the media to turn off their cameras.

In Zahle, politician Mryiam Skaff accused members of the right-wing Lebanese Forces party of beating up her supporters in polling stations.

But despite this, the results of the vote are unlikely to change the overall balance of power in the country.

Sarah Brjawi, 33, said she was voting for Nouhad Yazbek, a woman running on a coalition list of political independents and activists running in Beirut.

Brjawi, who was walking the streets of Beirut's Ras el-Nabea neighbourhood with her clown troupe before voting, said she was perplexed by voters who said they supported their satirical act, poking fun at the country's endemic corruption and political stagnation, while saying they'd vote for establishment parties again.

"This nation is de facto bipolar", stated Brjawi. Now that elections are over, the risk of an Iran sponsored Hezbollah attack have increased.

"This reveals Lebanon's democracy and the significance of democracy".

Less than half of Lebanon's electorate voted in Sunday's general elections, according to a provisional turnout figure of 49.2 percent announced by Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk, reported AFP. Official results are not expected before Monday.

"We're human beings. It isn't truthful that now we have to be carried like luggage of potatoes", the girl, Silvana Lakkis, stated. The prime minister promised to address the problem in the next elections.

June 2017 saw the adoption of an array of amendments to the election law in Lebanon. "Order is nice", he quipped.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have often battled for influence in Lebanon as part of their wider regional rivalry. Streets were festooned with candidates' posters and Hezbollah's signature yellow flags.

While many polling stations faced similar issues of long queues, others appeared to be coping easily with the voters.

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