NDI International Election Observer Mission Arrives in Lebanon for 2018 Parliamentary Elections

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

BEIRUT, Lebanon – The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is fielding an international election observation mission for Lebanon’s parliamentary elections scheduled for May 6, 2018.

The delegation includes 31 political and civic leaders, elections experts, and regional specialists from 13 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. Leadership of the delegation is comprised of:

  • Peter MacKay, former Minister of National Defense and Attorney General, Canada;
  • Birgitta Ohlsson, former Minister of European Affairs, Democracy and Consumer Rights, Sweden;
  • Mohamed Ouzzine, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Morocco;
  • Tamara Cofman Wittes, senior fellow, Brookings Institution, Center for Middle East Policy, USA; and
  • Les Campbell, senior associate, Middle East & North Africa, NDI.

“We are honored to be in Lebanon to observe these parliamentary elections, the first to be held under the new election law of 2017,” said Les Campbell. “There are many new facets to voters, candidates, and election authorities alike. Regardless of the results, this process is already bringing change for all election stakeholders.”

After meeting with government officials, election authorities, candidates, political party and independent movement leaders, representatives of civil society, and the international community, NDI’s delegation will observe polling places in all 15 electoral districts on election day.

NDI conducted a pre-election assessment mission in March, the statement from which provides recommendations on transparency, proactive inclusion, increased public engagement, and future reforms.

The NDI delegation will hold a press conference on Monday, May 7 at 3 pm the Mövenpick Hotel (Le Pavillion Room) in Beirut. At that time, NDI will issue a report with the delegation’s findings and recommendations on steps that could enhance confidence and participation in future elections and other political processes.

The delegation will conduct its activities in a nonpartisan manner in accordance with Lebanese law and international standards for election monitoring set forth in the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation. Election observation can build public confidence in elected institutions, deter fraud, expose irregularities and help strengthen democratic reform processes.

Over the last 35 years, NDI has conducted more than 150 election observation missions in 62 countries, including fielding international observation delegations for the 2005 and 2009 parliamentary elections in Lebanon. More information is available at ndi.org/lebanon.

The international observation mission is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

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