Lebanon goes through its second round of Municipal Elections

Exclusive to The Middle East Online

Edited by Nelly Tawil

The second phase of Lebanon’s municipal and mayoral elections was peaceful, successful and par excellence said the Lebanese Minister of Interior and Municipalities Nuhad Mashnouq on Sunday.

An estimate 365,000 voters cast their ballots across 325 villages and cities in five provinces in Mount Lebanon, the minister mentioned the number of complaints reached around 170 during the day, however these complaints were resolved.

The vote follows the much more tense municipal elections in Beirut and east Lebanon, however their victories for the country’s mainstream parties struck hope for the rest of the country.

The mostly-peaceful municipal elections in Beirut, the Bekaa and Baalbek-Hermel marked the first polls to be held on time since the last municipal polls in 2010.

According to the Interior Ministry each phase of voting will be met with 20,000 security forces being deployed at polling stations around the country. Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said his ministry had solved all issues that marred last week’s elections, including vote buying and had the security situation completely under control.

“Two people have so far been detained since yesterday over their links to bribes,” Machouk said from the operation center at his ministry’s headquarters in Beirut.

All mistakes made during the first round of elections are being scrutinized by authorities conducting a “serious follow-up” in order to correct them, he said.

“All major gaps are being resolved,” he added.

Polls close at 7:00 pm.

In a statement, the Interior Ministry said 834,768 voters are eligible to participate in Sunday’s polls. There are 3,217 polling stations open in Mount Lebanon, with 6,790 candidates running in 325 municipal councils. 45 councils have already won uncontested, the statement added.