The National Democratic Institute (NDI) deployed an international delegation to Lebanon from March 11 - 15, 2018. The purpose of the mission was to assess preparations for Lebanon’s May 2018 elections to support efforts to conduct peaceful, credible polls. NDI’s delegation included regional and election experts from North Africa, Europe, and North America: Daniel Mitov, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (Bulgaria); Chafik Sarsar, Former President of the Independent High Authority for Elections (Tunisia); Shari Bryan, Vice-President of NDI (United States), and Nicole Rowsell, Senior Advisor at NDI (United States).
The delegation conducted its activities in accordance with Lebanese law and the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, which was launched in 2005 at the United Nations. The delegation met with: the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities (MOIM), President and Commissioners of the Supervisory Commission for Elections (SCE); independent and partisan candidates and political party leaders; government officials; civil society leaders, including citizen election observers; women political leaders; members of the Constitutional Court; media leaders; and representatives of the international community.
The Institute recognizes that, ultimately, it will be the people of Lebanon who will determine the credibility of their elections and the country’s democratic development at this important turning point for the country against the backdrop of regional unrest. The delegation therefore offers this pre-election statement in the spirit of supporting and strengthening democratic institutions and accountability in Lebanon.
The delegation is deeply grateful to all those with whom it met and who shared their views generously. The delegation also expresses its appreciation to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for funding this delegation and supporting NDI’s democracy assistance programs in Lebanon. NDI stands ready to continue to assist Lebanese efforts to build and sustain democratic practices, institutions, and values.
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