Lebanon Daily News Brief 04/04/2022

Monday, April 4, 2022


EU to Dispatch Observers for May 15th Elections
At the invitation of the Interior Ministry, the European Union is deploying an Electoral Observation Mission in Lebanon to monitor the May 15, 2022 parliamentary elections. In a statement, the delegation said that, “this delegation is composed of ten electoral experts to cover the different aspects of the process.” Hungarian member of the EU Parliament, Gyorgy Holvenyi, will lead the delegation following a preliminary visit to Lebanon this week. [L’Orient Today]

Maronite Patriarch Supports Elections, Change in Presidency
The Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai said, “a successful parliamentary election is the guarantee of a successful election of a new president, who is up to the challenges for the recovery of Lebanon.” [L’Orient Today] According to Naharnet, “The constitution stipulates that the President cannot renew his term and this is what I advocate. We must elect a new president two months prior to the end of President Michel Aoun’s tenure,’ al-Rahi said in an interview on LBCI television.” [Naharnet]

EDL to Charge Higher Rate for Supplying Electricity on Election Day 
According to Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi, Lebanon’s state-owned Electricite du Liban (EDL) is charging $16 million USD to supply electricity for the May 15 parliamentary polls, which exceeds the overall election budget of $12.5 million. According to France 24, “Mawlawi said the government may turn to private generators to power voting centres, which will need electricity to light the room at night when the votes are counted immediately after polls close.” [France 24]

AUB to Open Campus in Cyprus
According to L’Orient Today, “the Cyprus News Agency quoted Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos during a press conference as saying that AUB has invested €29 million into the project [to open a new campus in Cyprus], with construction set to commence in June or July 2022. He added that the goal is to have the first batch of students enrolled by the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic year.” [L’Orient Today]



France 24
From Beirut To Baghdad: Lebanese Flee Crisis Seeking Jobs In Iraq

“More than 20,000 Lebanese citizens arrived in Iraq between June 2021 and February 2022, excluding pilgrims visiting the Shiite holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, according to the Iraqi authorities. Lebanon’s ambassador in Baghdad, Ali Habhab, said that movement from Lebanon to Iraq ‘has recently multiplied’. There are more than 900 Lebanese businesses now operating in Iraq, the majority of them in the restaurant trade, tourism and health, Habhab said. In particular, there have been ‘dozens of Lebanese doctors who offer their services’ in Iraqi hospitals, he said. Iraq’s decades of conflict — from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, to the US-led invasion of 2003 and subsequent sectarian conflict, and on to the rise of the Islamic State group in 2014 — means that Baghdad might appear to be an unlikely magnet for those seeking to build a new life.” 

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.