Machnouk says elections will be held on time

Machnouk hinted that the Biometric IDs proposal will be disregarded due to time constraints, thus ensuring that elections will be held in a timely manner.

9 October 2017 | 15:22

Source: Annahar

  • By Georgi Azar
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 9 October 2017 | 15:22

Interior Miniater Nouhad Machnouk (right) speaking to President Michel Aoun at the Presidential Palace. (Annahar Photo)

BEIRUT: Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk vowed on Monday that elections will be held on time, stressing that “under no circumstances will we witness a parliamentary extension.”

Following his meeting with President Michel Aoun at Baabda's Presidential Palace, Machnouk hinted that the Biometric IDs proposal will be disregarded due to time constraints, thus ensuring that elections will be held in a timely manner.

Proponents of the biometric IDs proposal, such as Free Patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil, had argued that it will help safeguard the integrity of the election process.

The issuance of biometric IDs was the main reason behind the extension of Parliament's term for a third time in June for an 11-month duration. Lebanon had already adjourned parliamentary elections twice, citing security concerns linked to the conflict in neighboring Syria. In 2013, lawmakers voted to extend parliament's term by 17 months and then voted again in 2014 to extend their tenure an additional two years and seven months.

These extensions prompted Berri to put forward a draft law to shorten Parliament's term to January, which was originally set to end in May 2018, arguing that the biometric ID proposal seeks to postpone the election and extend Parliament’s term once again for a fourth consecutive time under the pretext that these IDs will not be issued on time.

The Electoral Supervisory Commission, an 11-member commission responsible for supervising the elections, was also in attendance as it swore an oath to remain transparent and independent, thus upholding the integrity of the electoral process.


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