EU’s Chief Observer launches observation mission of Lebanon’s 6 May parliamentary elections
April 18, 2018
Elena Valenciano, Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Lebanon’s 2018 parliamentary elections on 6 May, officially launched the EU’s mission today, stressing their importance for the country’s stability.
Mme. Valenciano said: “Lebanon is embarking on a new electoral system with, for the first time, some proportional representation and out-of-country voting for Lebanese nationals abroad. These are important changes and people must feel their will is reflected in the outcome.”
“We will measure the process in this context, against Lebanon’s law and international commitments. We are here in this task with a team of 24 highly experienced long-term observers (LTOs), who deployed around the country on Tuesday and have already begun sending reports from the field.”
Mme. Valenciano, who is a Member of the European Parliament from Spain, added: “Since arriving in Beirut on Tuesday (10 April), I have had a series of meetings with the country’s leadership, political parties and judicial and electoral officials, and I would like to thank them sincerely for their readiness to meet and their openness and cooperation. I look forward to deepening our discussions in the coming weeks.”
The EU EOM will carry out a comprehensive assessment, focusing on the legal framework, electoral administration, voter registration, campaigning and its financing, conduct of the media, voting, counting and tallying, and the transmission of results. It will remain in country well beyond election’s day to observe any appeals or complaints that may be raised. Twenty-six short-term observers will also be at the out-of-country voting in 10 European countries on 29 April, before travelling on to Lebanon for the 6 May election day.
A core team of nine experts is in Beirut. For election’s day they, the LTOs and altogether 36 short-term observers, will be joined by seven Members of the European Parliament and around 30 representatives of EU Member State embassies based in Beirut, plus the Norwegian and Swiss missions, bringing the mission’s estimated total strength to more than 100 observers.
All EU EOM observers are bound by a code of conduct, which requires strict neutrality and non-interference. The EU EOM undertakes its work in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation. It will publish its initial findings in a preliminary statement, which Mme. Valenciano will present at a press conference shortly after election’s day. A final report with recommendations for future elections will be published some two months later.