BEIRUT: The Interior Ministry’s elections operations room said Friday there were “no lost expatriate votes” in the parliamentary elections, adding that the ministry was not responsible for any vote counting errors amid complaints of uncounted or lost ballots abroad.
Concerns over alleged lost votes arose from the failure of some foreign polling station officials to give a required write-up at the conclusion of voting late last month, as well as the failure of some Lebanese expats to cast their ballots despite registering their names to vote, the elections operations room said in an official press statement Friday.
Tens of thousands of Lebanese expatriates in dozens of countries around the world cast their ballots one week before the domestic round of voting on May 6. The 2018 parliamentary election was the first to allow Lebanese citizens living abroad to participate from their host countries, raising concerns from observers and candidates that the process would face inconsistencies that could jeopardize its legitimacy.
“The ballot boxes of Lebanese who voted abroad were documented and sealed with red wax” to prevent tampering, the operations room said in its statement.
Internal Security Forces personnel guarded transport of the ballots to electoral registration committees amid preparations for the general election early May, the statement read.
“Once again, the Ministry of Interior affirms its lack of authority over what happened in the registration committees or in the process of collecting and calculating the results,” according to the operations room.
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