Lebanese Interior Minister: I will not interfere in the electoral law, amendments are left to Parliament

Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Malawi has decided to suspend his personal political activities ahead of the country’s impending parliamentary elections, confirming the “impartial” stance of his ministry, which he says must keep the same distance of all political parties.

The minister said his ministry was preparing for the upcoming elections based on the date set by the Lebanese parliament. But he told Asharq Al-Awsat that he preferred the elections to be held on May 8, 2020, two weeks before the end of the current parliament’s term.

However, Mawlawi assured that he would not personally submit any political amendments to the electoral law, insisting on his ministry’s commitment to “impartiality”.

The electoral process will be observed by the international community to ensure the integrity of the supervisory authority, says Mawlawi.

The financial expenses of the electoral process are being estimated, he said, noting that he will submit a request to the government requesting an appropriation to cover the expenses.

That the elections can be postponed, Mawlawi said: “Is the government capable of coming into confrontation with the international community? What will he have to say? There is a correlation between providing assistance to Lebanon and organizing legislative elections.

The minister stresses that any proposed amendments to the electoral law, mainly those of a political nature, are left to Parliament. It is a question of blocking the way to anyone who questions the impartiality of the Ministry of the Interior on the pretext that it interferes in the political aspect of the law, he noted.

Mawlawi said a special committee within his ministry has been formed, in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, charged with the task of registering the names of expatriates wishing to vote.

Asharq Al-Awsat said the ministry was ready to complete the magnetic voter card, initially introduced in the 2017 law. Lebanese State, this could be delayed.

Mawlawi initiated contacts with donor countries and United Nations organizations to obtain the necessary money for the map given the inability of the state, with its current financial situation, to pay the cost of printing it.