Lebanon’s new Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi said that preparations were underway to hold parliamentary elections next year.
In a statement, the office of the Lebanese Presidency said that President Michel Aoun met with Mawlawi on Thursday to discuss the security situation and the preparations for the polls, which are scheduled to be held in May.
In response to a question about whether there was an amendment to the proposed date for the elections, the minister replied: “If elections will be held in March, a legal amendment must be issued.”
“I have no objections to holding elections in March in accordance with the law. The parliament’s mandate ends on May 21, and we have committed, in the ministerial policy statement, to hold the vote before this date.”
Asked about the role of expatriates in the elections, Mawlawi said: “There is a committee, according to the law, formed by the ministries of interior and foreign affairs to discuss this issue.”
On whether the electoral magnetic card will be adopted, the minister told reporters at the Baabda Palace: “If there is an intention to launch this card, and if the government proceeds with it, we welcome that. This will speed up the counting process.”
He continued: “We are currently conducting an assessment of the cost of the elections to be presented to concerned parties to find out how to secure the funds.”