Lebanon’s Interior Ministry has updated voter turnout figures for the nationwide parliamentary elections that took place last week.
Voter turnout has been revised to 49.68 per cent, up from the initial turnout calculated at a 41 per cent, despite high expectations for the long-anticipated parliamentary elections.
This places voter participation for the parliamentary elections on the same level as that in 2018.
The gap in turnout calculation stemmed from a more careful post-election examination of voter records by polling stations in every district, an Interior Ministry representative told The National.
She said the amendment did not change any overall election result.
The new turnout figure of 49.68 per cent also reflects the Lebanese diaspora voters, the Interior Ministry said.
About 60 per cent of registered Lebanese people living abroad took part in the elections, many of them expressing a wish to remove traditional political figures.
This year’s elections were highly anticipated by many Lebanese and seen as an opportunity to reform the entrenched political system that has been in place since the Nineties, after the end of the country’s 15-year civil war.
They followed a severe nationwide economic collapse that the World Bank says is one of the worst in the modern world and which left about 80 per cent of Lebanon’s population impoverished, according to the UN.
A nationwide protest movement erupted in 2019 which called for the removal of Lebanon’s political elite. Many from within the protest movement had called for early elections, which did not materialise. In August 2020, a massive explosion ripped through Beirut’s port and nearby residential areas, killing more than 200 people.
Many in Lebanon were further incensed when evidence emerged that many of Lebanon’s political elite – including the President and Prime Minister – had prior knowledge of the thousands of tonnes of explosive material stored within the port.
The difficulties Lebanon has endured in the past few years led many to expect a higher voter turnout for the 2022 parliamentary elections.