On Sunday, May 6, the Lebanese people will be voting to elect a new parliament for the first time in nine years. After being at loggerheads over regional political tensions and attempts to reform the electoral system since the last election in 2009, parliament twice extended its own mandate before finally passing a new electoral law that paved the way for this year’s elections.
Political deadlock has meant that little has been done to address the country’s myriad problems, leaving politicians concerned that apathy will lead to low voter turnout. However, it also means that governance and economic issues have taken on added importance in this election. The most important of these issues include tackling corruption and the growing public debt, creating jobs, and addressing the matter of Hezbollah’s weapons, all of which have been neglected. Sectarian interests will also retain their primacy.
In addition, the new electoral law is exceedingly complex, rendering politicians and voters across the political spectrum uncertain as to the election’s final outcome.