Lebanese expats vote for first time in UAE

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Lebanese expats in the UAE voted on Friday ahead of the parliamentary elections to be held on May 6.

This is the first time that expats are allowed to participate in the parliamentary elections. And expats turned up in numbers at the missions with their Lebanese identity card or passport. Most of the expats were with their entire family to be part of the historic exercise.

The voting process took place at the embassy in Abu Dhabi and the General Consulate in Dubai.

Lebanese Ambassador to the UAE Fouad Chehab Nabih Dandan said the voting process started from 7am and lasted till 10pm.

"This is a one-day process. All those who had registered in Abu Dhabi will vote at the Embassy and those who have registered in Dubai at the Consulate. Around 1,300 voters had registered in Abu Dhabi. By 3pm, the turnout has been up to 32 per cent," Dandan told Khaleej Times outside the voting area.

He was hopeful that by the end of the day all citizens who had registered will vote.

Dandan noted that 16 people were engaged for smooth conduct of the entire process.

"I am also part of the team to oversee the proceedings," the ambassador said.

He also highlighted the role played by Abu Dhabi Police, patrolling the embassy.

On Friday, expats voted in other Arab nations - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt. The Associated Press reported that the exercise will be followed by voting on Sunday for expats in the Americas, Europe, Australia and Africa.

Lebanon's state-run news agency says the number of registered voters is 82,970.

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil tweeted that he was "very proud" to witness the first expat voting in the history of the Lebanese republic.

Lebanon will hold its first parliamentary elections in nine years in May after parliament postponed elections several times over security reasons.

Ashwani Kumar


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