WED 24 - 4 - 2019
Date: Apr 21, 2018
Source: The Daily Star

Folder: Elections
Lebanon: Electoral Supervisory Committee member resigns
BEIRUT: Sylvana al-Lakkis Friday announced her resignation from the Electoral Supervisory Committee, saying she did not want to be party to the committee’s “inability” to carry out its mandate, according to a local news reports.

Lakkis was officially appointed by Cabinet in September to be one of 11 members on the committee, which was formed to ensure the fairness of the parliamentary elections on May 6. Local outlet LBCI reported that she had resigned citing the “inability of the ... committee to perform its duties.”

The former committee member did not elaborate further on her reasons for resigning.

The committee has complained that a failure to allocate funds to the body has hampered its work.

Lakkis’ resignation “is further evidence that the excesses of the electoral authority have become too much for those with a conscience to bear,” former Prime Minister Najib Mikati tweeted Thursday, demanding “swift action” from President Michel Aoun. Mikati is currently heading an electoral list in Tripoli.

The supervisory committee issued a statement earlier this week condemning interference by senior public officials in the upcoming elections, saying that “a number of complaints” had been filed about candidates receiving support from high-ranking officials.

“In order to implement the principle of neutrality and transparency ... the competent ministers will be informed that measures must be taken to put an end to such violations,” the committee’s statement read.

The Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections, a local NGO, warned in a statement earlier this week that government officials were “repeatedly exploiting their powers for electoral purposes,” pointing to – among other violations – the use of bribes by some candidates.

There had been a “clear political decision to block [the Electoral Supervisory Committee’s] work” by government ministries, LADE spokeswoman Haneen Chabchoul told The Daily Star Wednesday.

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