Lebanese Expatriates right to Vote in 2013 Elections, says President Sleiman

24Jan10

The Lebanese Parliamentary Election of 2013 may give Lebanese Expatriates the right to vote from abroad.

President Michel Sleiman said on Saturday that he is committed to this just cause. He also called for stepping up the effort to adopt the law that would allow people of Lebanese descent (diaspora) to gain back Lebanese citizenship, giving them the right to vote in 2013 along with expatriates (unlike the 2009 Parliamentary Elections).

In a possible reference to the draft law that would lower the voting age from 21 to 18, the president said political bargaining should not postpone reforms that grant Lebanese youth their rights, particularly the right to express themselves.

To prevent postponing municipal elections, which are supposed to happen in the spring, the bill to lower the voting age must be passed by February 11.

According to Sleiman, reform begins with amending the electoral law, lowering the voting age, granting expatriates the right to vote and making administrative appointments.

Lebanon will not move forward if it does not respect its youth, expatriates, qualifications [for administrative appointments] and the [people’s] right to democracy,” the Lebanese President said.



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