Around 200 observers from the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) will be deployed in Beirut and all regions to monitor the upcoming parliamentary elections on May 15, EU EOM Chief Observer, Gyorgy Holvenyi announced on Thursday after a meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun at the Presidential Palace.
He said the mission arrived on 27 March and will stay until 6 June to support credible, transparent and inclusive elections in Lebanon.
On Election Day, it will comprise some 200 observers from all 27 EU member states, Norway and Switzerland.
Holvenyi said the EU EOM will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process, based on long-term observation. Its final report will include a final assessment of the elections and a set of recommendations for possible reforms to improve future electoral processes.
The Chief Observer thanked Aoun for Lebanon's agreement on an EU EOM that would observe the elections, saying the team is a demonstration of the European Union's commitment to democracy and peace in Lebanon.
For his part, the Lebanese President stressed that his country welcomes the EU mission, noting the same role it took in the elections of 2005, 2009, and 2018.
“All arrangements have been made to hold the elections on time in an atmosphere of freedom, democracy, and transparency,” he said.
A total of 103 electoral lists were registered at the Interior Ministry last Monday, the deadline for candidates to register, including 718 candidates to compete for 128 parliament seats.
Aoun asserted that work is underway to overcome obstacles to the achievement of this important constitutional entitlement, despite the difficult economic and financial conditions that Lebanon is going through.
Following his presidential visit, Holvenyi met with Prime minister Najib Mikati at the Grand Serail and discussed the mechanisms for conducting the next elections and the mission of the observers.
“This is not an interference in the electoral process, this is an observation mission,” Mikati said.
The EU official then visited Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi. The two officials tackled the preparations for the elections.