Lebanese President Michel Aoun: ‘do not waste’ opportunity to vote

Leader said the country and its finances had been 'plundered' and 'looted'

Michel Aoun has been Lebanon's president since 2016. EPA
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Lebanon’s president has urged the Lebanese people to not waste their opportunity to vote, as the country holds parliamentary elections on Sunday.

Addressing the nation, Michel Aoun said the Lebanese people should “choose those whom you trust and whom you find worthy of defending your rights and passing the laws that safeguard and protect them”.

Lebanon’s economy collapsed in 2019, which has caused the local currency lose more than 90 per cent of its value, food prices to rise elevenfold and forced more than three quarters of the population to live below the poverty line. Mr Aoun said the country and its finances had been “plundered” and “looted”.

Sunday’s elections mark the first time Lebanon has gone to the polls since the 2019 protests against the country’s ruling classes, which led to the resignation of the government.

“Voting is not merely a right; it is also a duty for every citizen, and it is the correct and actual road to change,” said Mr Aoun, who has been president since 2016.

“This is your chance; do not waste it, especially in light of the facts that have been unveiled in the past two years, and the lies that have been exposed, and now that corruption and embezzlement have faces and names.”

The World Bank has described Lebanon's crisis, the result of decades of corruption and mismanagement, as one of the worst in modern times.

“Today, in order for Lebanon to recover and in order to put an end to mutual recriminations and finger-pointing, the judiciary must fulfil its role. It must name and pursue the corrupt, some of whom having become known,” Mr Aoun said.

Updated: May 14, 2022, 7:04 PM