Lebanese President Michel Aoun
The Lebanese presidency announced that President Michel Aoun issued a decree to return the law amending the rules of legislative elections to Parliament for reconsideration.
This development could affect Lebanon’s ability to hold elections on March 27, as agreed this week.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved holding elections on this date, giving Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government just a few months to obtain a recovery plan from the International Monetary Fund in light of the country’s worsening economic collapse.
In the statement, Aoun said that the new amendments to the electoral law went beyond being a mere recommendation and were imposed exceptionally and for one time on the upcoming elections.
He added that shortening the constitutional deadline for holding the elections could cause voters to be unable to exercise their electoral right due to natural and climatic factors, in addition to several logistical issues.
President Aoun stressed that holding the elections next March shortens the period for registering non-resident voters, and prevents them from exercising their political right to vote for their direct representatives.
He also indicated that the amendments deprive 10,685 Lebanese of all sects the right to vote because they will not reach the age of 21 by 2022.