Information for Voters
- Categories that are not Eligible to Vote
The categories that are not eligible to vote are:
- Military personnel
- Persons sentenced to loss of civil rights
- Persons sentenced to permanent disqualification from holding public posts and grades
- Persons sentenced to temporary disqualification from public posts and grades, until the deprivation period is over
- Persons convicted of a felony
- Persons convicted of any of the following offenses: theft, fraud, breach of trust, embezzlement, bribery, perjury, rape, intimidation, forgery, using forged documents, and crimes against public morality as specified in Chapter Seven of the Penal Code, and crimes related to the cultivation and manufacture of, and trafficking in, narcotic substances
- Persons who have been legally impeached, until the impeachment period is over
- Persons convicted for bankruptcy fraud or sentenced to the penalties provided for in Articles 689 to 698 of the Penal Code
- Persons sentenced to the penalties provided for in Articles 329 to 334 of the Penal Code
- Naturalized citizens are not allowed to vote until 10 years after the implementation of the naturalization decree (Not applicable to the non-Lebanese spouse of a Lebanese man)
- Voters with Special Needs
According to the Election Law, the Ministry of Interior is supposed to take the needs of people with disabilities into consideration when organizing the electoral event. It is expected to facilitate the procedures to allow PWDs to exercise their right to vote unobstructed. More specifically, it should:
1. Put signs to facilitate access to the polling place
2. Put up bold-font signs explaining the election procedure inside and outside the polling stations
3. Allow PWDs to park their cars near polling centers
4. Provide corridors that facilitate the PWDs’ transfer from their cars to the polling stations
5. Provide the use of elevators, if they are available
6. According to the Law on the Rights of People with Disabilities, a voter with disability or a person suffering from a handicap that prevents him from marking his choice on the ballot paper, putting the ballot paper in the envelope, and dropping the envelope in the ballot box, has the right to seek the help of another voter of his choice, who may assist him under the supervision of the polling station officers. A note mentioning such incidents should be added in the “remarks” section provided on the voters’ checklists.
Information About the Candidates
- Candidate Application
Eligibility requirements for candidates:
- Age: 25
- Registered on the voters’ lists
- Not deprived of their political and civil rights
Special requirements apply to those of the following categories who wish to run for office:
- Judges and members of the Constitutional Council, and Heads and Deputy Heads of Municipalities and Heads of Municipal Unions are required to resign two years ahead of the end of the parliament’s term of office, i.e. before May 20, 2020
- Civil servants of the first and second categories, military personnel, chairmen and members of boards of directors, and general directors of public institutions are required to resign six months ahead of the end of the parliament’s term of office, i.e. before November 20, 2021
Documents required for candidate registration
- The candidate application form issued by the Ministry of Interior - Directorate General of Political Affairs and Refugees
- A personal civil status record, the date of issue of which does not exceed one month
- A criminal record, the date of issue of which does not exceed one month
- Two passport-size photographs, certified by the mukhtar
- A financial receipt proving the payment of the candidate application fee set at 8 million Lebanese pounds
- A bank statement confirming the opening of the electoral campaign account
- A copy of the final voter list proving the registration of the candidate therein (The 2021 voters’ lists)
- A statement, issued by the notary public, indicating the name of the financial auditor
- A statement, issued by the notary public, authorizing the Commission to view the bank account of the electoral campaign
The Candidate Application Process
According to the Lebanese election law, the candidate application process involves two steps:
- Step 1: Individual application
- Step 2: Application within a candidate list
Candidate application period opens Candidate application period closes The registration of candidate lists 90 days ahead of E-Day 60 days ahead of E-Day 40 days ahead of E-Day
Documents required for candidate list registration
- The full name of each list member
- Receipts proving the approval of the list members’ applications
- The sequential order of the names of the list members, depending on the minor district in which the list will run
- An indication of the electoral district in which the list will run
- The name and color of the list
- A statement of appointment of the financial auditor
- A bank certificate proving the opening of an account for the list
- A power of attorney signed by the list members and in which they appoint their representative
- Electoral Spending
- The campaign account is not subject to bank secrecy
- All contributions are deposited in, and all expenses are paid from, the electoral campaign account
- Amounts that exceed one million Lebanese pounds cannot be collected or paid except by means of a check
- The auditor submits a monthly account statement to the Supervisory Commission for Elections (SCE)
- Contributions may only be made by Lebanese natural or legal persons
- A contribution made by the same person may not exceed 50 percent of the total contributions
- The total contributions may not exceed the specified spending ceiling
- Expenditures = all expenditures paid by the list or the candidate or for the benefit of either
- Volunteer services are not considered as expenditures (they should not be confused with in-kind contributions)
The electoral spending ceiling is divided into two parts:
- A fixed lump sum = 150 million Lebanese pounds
- A variable sum = 5,000 Lebanese pounds per voter
The spending ceiling for the list = 150 million Lebanese pounds for each candidate
The electoral spending ceiling for candidates and lists in the 2018 parliamentary elections
Electoral District Spending Ceiling for the Candidate Spending Ceiling for the List Total spending per list Zahle 1,028,065,000 1,050,000,000 8,378,065,000 West Beqaa- Rashaya 869,060,000 900,000,000 6,269,060,000 Baalbek- Hermel 1,728,215,000 1,500,000,000 16,728,215,000 Sidon- Jezzine 762,620,000 750,000,000 4,512,620,000 Tyre- Zahrani 1,670,960,000 1,050,000,000 9,020,960,000 Nabatieh- Bint Jbeil- Hasbaya- Marjeyoun 2,452,825,000 1,650,000,000 20,602,825,000 Akkar 1,568,950,000 1,050,000,000 8,918,950,000 Tripoli- Minieh Dinnieh 1,900,720,000 1,650,000,000 20,050,720,000 Batroun- Koura- Besharri- Zgharta 1,397,080,000 1,500,000,000 16,397,080,000 Beirut I 823,680,000 1,200,000,000 10,423,680,000 Beirut II 1,917,070,000 1,650,000,000 20,067,070,000 Jbeil- Kesrouan 1,033,550,000 1,200,000,000 10,633,550,000 Metn 1,049,595,000 1,200,000,000 10,649,595,000 Baabda 980,675,000 900,000,000 6,380,675,000 Shouf- Aley 1,799,350,000 1,950,000,000 27,149,350,000
- Electoral Media
What is Electoral media:
1. News, analysis, interviews and discussions that are aired free-of-charge during the various programs of media outlets
2. Paid media appearances of candidates and / or candidate lists
3. Every paid promotional material aired or published in the media
- Media outlets refrain from announcing their support for a particular candidate.
- They refrain from committing defamation, libel, or slandering against any candidate / list.
- They refrain from airing any content that causes sectarian, confessional, or ethnic strife.
- They refrain from exerting pressure, intimidation, bribing and offering improper advantages.
- They refrain from airing or publishing half-facts.
- They distinguish clearly between opinions and facts.
- Commitment to hanging and posting electoral advertisements and pictures in the specific spots designated for this purpose by the competent local authority.
- Commitment to submitting all electoral materials to the SCE three days before airing or publication.
- Commitment not to use public and educational facilities and places of worship for electoral campaigning purposes.
- State employees, public institutions and municipalities may not engage in electoral campaigning in support of a candidate or list.
- No leaflets or any other documents produced in support of a candidate or list may be distributed in the vicinity of polling centers on Election Day.
- The SCE guarantees equal access to the media and balanced media appearances among the candidates. Access to national public media is available free of charge.
- Commitment to the electoral silence period, starting at 00:00 hours on the day preceding the Election Day, until the polls close.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE ELECTIONS
- Parliamentary Elections - Figures and Dates
Figures and dates (Based on the 2017 elections law and 2018 elections)
Potential dates for holding the 2022 parliamentary elections
- Elections are held in the last 60 days leading up to the end of the parliament’s term of office on May 20, 2022
- Elections are always held on a Sunday
- The voters are called to the polls 90 days ahead of Election Day
- Candidates should have their lists registered 40 days ahead of Election day
Potential Election Day Deadline for issuing the “Call for Elections” Decree Deadline for closing the candidate registration period Deadline for registering candidate lists May 15 February 14, 2022 March 16, 2022 April 5, 2022 May 8 February 7, 2022 March 9, 2022 March 29, 2022 May 1 January 31, 2022 March 2, 2022 March 22, 2022 April 24 January 24, 2022 February 23, 2022 March 15, 2022 April 17 January 17, 2022 February 16, 2022 March 8, 2022 April 10 January 10, 2022 February 9, 2022 March 1, 2022 April 3 January 3, 2022 February 2, 2022 February 22, 2022 March 27 December 27, 2021 January 26, 2022 February 15, 2022
- Updating the Voters’ Lists
- Lebanon has an automatic voter registration system that is updated annually.
- The names of all Lebanese citizens who have reached the age of 21 are automatically extracted from the civil status register and entered into the voters’ lists.
- The names of persons who are 100 years old, or over, are crossed out from the voters' lists.
Data included in the voters’ lists:
- Full name
- Mother’s name
- Register number
- Date of birth
- Religious community
The Annual Updating of the Voters’ Lists
November 20 December 20 February 1 February 20 March 1 March 30 Review of the voters’ lists by:Personal Status Registration offices, the Criminal Records Bureau, Courts of Justice, and embassies send their records to the DGCS. Internal correction by the Ministry of Interior The voters’ lists are published for public inspection through: DGCS website, Mukhtars, Municipalities, and Embassies Deadline for checking the lists of Lebanese citizens residing abroad Deadline for checking the lists of Lebanese citizens residing in Lebanon The voters’ lists are frozen
- The Electoral System
The characteristics of the proportional representation system adopted in Lebanon:
- It is a competition between closed lists: voters vote for the list as it is. They cannot add, replace or remove any of the candidates.
- A list may be complete or not, provided that it includes at least one candidate for each " minor district" within the greater electoral district, and that the number of candidates in it represents, at least, 40% of the total number of seats in the district, or a minimum of 3 seats.
- The voter is allowed to give only one preferential vote to any of the candidates of the same list and district. The preferential vote is optional.
Marking the vote on the ballot paper:
- The voter chooses one of the lists by putting a tick in the box designated for the list.
- The voter can also give one preferential vote to one of the candidates of the selected list by putting a tick in the box opposite the name of this candidate, provided that the candidate is from the same district.
- The voter may not vote for one list and give the preferential vote for a candidate in another list.
The results and winners:
- The method of calculation of the number of seats won by each list
- Determine the winners in each list
Model simulation in electoral district X:
Seat distribution: District X= 7 seats
Confession Number of seats Sunni 3 Greek Orthodox 2 Maronite 1 Alawite 1
Representation threshold or electoral quotient:
- It is the number of voters in the electoral district divided by the number of seats in the same district.
- Accordingly, if the number of voters in the district X is 145,940 voters, and the number of parliamentary seats is 7, the electoral quotient will be as follows:
- The total number of voters who voted in the elections divided by the number of seats.
Electoral quotient X = number of voters / number of seats = 145,940 / 7 = 20,849
List Name Number of votes per list List A 78000 List B 37000 List C 21000 List D 9940
If we assume that 4 lists ran in district X:
- Electoral quotient = number of voters / number of seats = 145,940 / 7 = 20,849.
- The result: Since the number of votes obtained by List D is lower than the electoral quotient, List D is excluded from the seat distribution process which will be limited to lists A, B and C.
- The new electoral quotient = number of voters / number of seats = 136,000 / 7 = 19,429.
The calculation of seats obtained by each list - The rule largest remainder with electoral quotient
List Name Number of votes Calculation of the number of seats Result Primary seat distribution Remainders Largest remainder distribution Final seat distribution A 78000 19429 / 78000 4.015 4 0.015 0 4 B 37000 19429 / 37000 1.904 1 0.904 1 2 C 21000 19429 / 21000 1.081 1 0.081 0 1
The remaining seats are awarded, in sequence, to the qualified lists that have received the largest remainder of the votes remaining after the first division. This process is repeated in the same manner until all remaining seats are distributed.
Accordingly, the remaining seat will belong to list “B”, and the final distribution will be as follows: 4 seats for List A, two seats for List B, and one seat for List C.
- The percentage of preferential votes won by each candidate in his "district" is calculated.
- Ratio = the number of preferential votes won by a candidate / total preferential votes won by the candidates of the lists that were qualified.
- The candidates are then ranked in one list, from the highest to the lowest percentage of preferential votes obtained.
- Then the winners are determined, taking into account the number of seats in each list as well as the number of seats and the confessional distribution of seats in the district.
- The Supervisory Commission for Elections
The Supervisory Commission for Elections (SCE) is an oversight body that reports to the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities. The Minister of Interior and Municipalities monitors the work of the SCE and attends its meetings without participating in the vote. The SCE is composed of eleven members and is primarily responsible for regulating electoral media and campaign financing, in addition to overseeing the process of candidate registration and the compliance of electoral campaigns with the provisions of the law.
The SCE functions:
- Receiving the applications of the media outlets who wish to cover the elections.
- Receiving the applications of the media outlets who wish to participate in paid electoral media and electoral campaigns.
- Monitoring the compliance of lists and candidates with the laws and regulations during the electoral campaigns
- Determining the terms and conditions for conducting opinion polls and publishing their results
- Receiving and auditing the financial statements of all candidates
- Receiving the requests for the registration of candidates’ auditors
- Supervising the electoral spending
- Issuing accreditation cards for the local and international observers
- Promoting electoral education
- Receiving the complaints pertaining to the electoral campaigns
The SCE Composition:
Eleven members: Each of the entities below nominates three candidates and the Council of Ministers appoints one candidate per entity:
- An honorably retired ordinary judge who has exercised judicial duties for over 20 years, selected from among three candidates nominated by the Supreme Judicial Council.
- An honorably retired administrative judge who has exercised judicial duties for over 20 years, selected from among three candidates nominated by the State Council (Shura Council).
- An honorably retired financial judge who has exercised judicial duties for over 20 years, selected from among three candidates nominated by the Court of Audit.
- A former President of the Bar Association selected from among three former Bar Presidents nominated by the Beirut Bar Council (as member).
- A former President of the Bar Association selected from among three former Bar Presidents nominated by the Tripoli Bar Council (as member).
- A representative of the Press Syndicate selected from among three candidates nominated by the syndicate Council (as member).
- A media and advertising expert selected from among three candidates nominated by the National Council for Audiovisual Media (as member).
- A former President of the Lebanese Association of Certified Public Accountants selected from among three candidates nominated by the Association (as member).
- Two senior experts in elections-related fields (including elections management, campaign finance or electoral advertising) selected from among 6 candidates nominated by the Minister (as members)
- A representative of the civil society organizations that meet the requirements stipulated in Article 20 of the Elections Law, selected from among three candidates with experience in elections, and nominated by the said organizations through a procedure established by the Minister.
- Polling Centers and Stations
- Each polling center contains a number of polling stations, provided that the number of polling stations does not exceed twenty in each center.
- School buildings are often used as polling centers and classrooms as polling stations.
- A village where the number of voters is between 100 and 400 shall have one polling station
- The maximum number of voters per polling station is 600
Vicinity of the polling center:
- The vicinity of the polling center is determined by the police officers responsible on site.
- Electoral campaigning activities are prohibited in the vicinity of the polling center on Election Day.
- Registration Committees
There are 162 Registration Committees composed of:
- A judge
- A head or member of municipality
- A DGCS officer
High Registration Committees
There are 30 High Registration Committees composed of:
- A President of Chamber or Justice
- A Judge
- An inspector from the Central Inspection Bureau
- A DGCS Head of Department or officer
- Pre-Printed Ballot Papers
- They are prepared by the Ministry of the Interior.
- They include all the competing lists and their candidates in addition to a head shot for every candidate and a box for the preferential vote.
- The head of the polling station hands the ballot papers to the voters inside the station.
- The names of candidates who are not running in the electoral district where the ballot paper is used are printed in a different color so that the voters can spot them easily and avoid giving them their preferential vote since it will be canceled.
Since the electoral system allows the voter to give one preferential vote to one candidate from the minor district, the ballot paper layout is different in every minor district.
In the pictures below:
Example: The ballot paper designed for the North III district
Below are two sample ballot papers prepared for the North III district. Each of the two ballots has a different layout designed specifically for one of the four minor districts that constitute the North III electoral district.
The ballot paper prepared for Batroun has empty white boxes opposite the names of candidates running for election in the minor Batroun district, and the rest of the boxes are in black, to avoid confusion. In this way, the voters can only mark their preferential vote opposite the names of the candidates of the minor district.
The same method is followed in the layout of the ballot papers prepared for other minor districts in Bsharre, Koura and Zgharta.
Another example: The ballot paper prepared for Baabda district
The electoral district of Baabda has only one minor district.
This is why all the boxes opposite the names of candidates are white. The voter in this district can give his preferential vote to any candidate on the list he chooses.
There is also a white box next to the name of each list. The voter can vote for the list only, without giving any preferential vote to any candidate within it, and his vote will be considered valid.
- The Observers
Categories of observers
Lebanese organizations Foreign and regional organizations Visitors They should be non-political and have a certificate of registration issued at least two years before the date of application with the SCE. They should have legal status in the countries where they are registered or according to the agreements under which they were established This category includes representatives or delegates of states. They should not be affiliated with any political side or party. None of the members of their general and administrative bodies shall be a candidate in the elections. The statement of objectives in their bylaws should include objectives related to democracy, human rights, elections, transparency, or training on such matters. Visitors can observe the elections without any requirements, provided they obtain a "special visitor " card. The statement of objectives in their bylaws should have included- for at least two years before the date of application- objectives related to democracy, human rights, elections, transparency, or training on such matters. They should have had already dispatched observation missions or teams to observe official electoral processes in at least five countries They should inform the SCE of their funding sources. They should commit to the code of conduct set by the SCE They should submit to the SCE the balance of accounts pertaining to their election observation activity within a maximum of one month after the end of the electoral process. They should not be associated in any way with any Lebanese political group The number of the organization members, according to the lists duly filed with the competent official authorities, should be at least 100, at the date of submission of the application. They observe the elections either at the request of the Lebanese state, or on their own initiative, by submitting a request to the SCE
- Candidate Agents
There are two types of candidate agents:
- Permanent agents: one agent per candidate in each polling station
- Mobile agents: The itinerant agents: for candidate lists (one agent for every two polling stations in the villages and one agent for every three polling stations in the cities)
The candidate agent shall:
- be selected from among the voters of the electoral district
- hold an authorization from the District Commissioner (Qaimqam) or the Governor (Muhafiz) (The lists representative submits the permits of the agents)
- Vote Counting and Election Results
The Ministry equips the polling stations with special cameras and TV screens. Cameras are used to display the content of ballot papers on the screen, thus allowing the polling officers, candidate agents and accredited observers to see the votes marked on the ballot paper during vote counting.
2. Conclusion of the voting process:
Upon conclusion of the voting process, voting is closed and only the polling station officers, permanent and/or mobile candidate agents, accredited observers and media representatives authorized by the SCE to cover the voting process and film inside polling stations are allowed to stay inside the polling station.
The head of the polling station opens the ballot box and counts the ballot papers inside. If the number of ballot papers is higher or lower than the number of actual voters according to the voters’ checklists, it shall be mentioned in the polling station report.
The head of the polling station opens each ballot paper separately and reads out loud the name of the list chosen and the name of the candidate who received the preferential vote, under the active supervision of candidates or their agents, and accredited observers, if any.
Once the official ballot papers are sorted, the head of the polling station announces and signs the preliminary results, posts a report of these results, immediately, at the entrance of the polling station, and issues a true copy of the results report to candidates or candidate agents if they request so. The results report indicates the number of votes obtained by each list and the number of preferential votes obtained by each candidate.
6. The report:
After having announced the preliminary results of the polling station, the head of the polling station shall organize the polling station report, on two copies, and have all of its pages signed by the polling station officers. The head of the polling station shall put the checklists signed by the voters as well as all the ballot papers, the polling station report, and the vote tally sheet containing the votes obtained by the lists and candidates in a special envelope. The envelope is then sealed with red wax and transported by the head officer and assistant, with security escort, to the registration committee office where it is handed with the documents it contains to the president of the registration committee, or his representative, who opens it in the presence of candidate representatives. The head and clerk of the polling station are held liable in cases where the envelope has been delivered open or inconsistent with the results report.
The Primary Registration Committees:
- The competent registration committee receives the reports of all polling stations located within its jurisdiction. Report delivery is made through the head officer by virtue of a report organized for this purpose.
- The votes of each polling station are counted automatically by means of a computer software. A manual re-count is made if the polling station report results are found inconsistent with the computer-based results.
- Registration committees go through the reports and documents and take the appropriate decisions in their regard.
- Upon verification of the votes obtained by each list and candidate, the vote count result is submitted to the higher registration committee of the major district, in the form of schedules and reports prepared by the registration committee, in two copies, and signed by all committee members.
The Higher Registration Committees:
The higher registration committee verifies the schedules and reports and may only correct material and calculation errors, if any, and adjust the result accordingly. It counts the votes received from the primary registration committees by means of a computer software designed for this purpose and writes down the final result of the district on the final schedule, in numbers and letters, followed by the word “only”, and have all its members sign the report and final comprehensive schedule. The higher registration committee then announces the final results- or the number of seats obtained by each list and the names of winning candidates- in the presence of the candidates or their agents.
- Complaints and Appeals
The Complaint, Review or Appeal Responsible Authority The Possibility of Appeal Complaints on the subject of electoral campaigns The Supervisory Commission for Elections (SCE) The SCE decisions re appealable before the State Shura Council Mistakes in the voter’s lists The primary registration committee The decisions of primary registration committees are appealable before the high registration committees A denied or rejected candidate application The Ministry of Interior and Municipalities The decisions of the Ministry are appealable before the State Shura Council Denied registration of a candidate list The Ministry of Interior and Municipalities The decisions of the Ministry are appealable before the State Shura Council Polling station officers’ breach of official duties The Public Prosecution Office All decisions of the Public Prosecution Office are subject to the provisions of the Penal Code Appeals filed against the election results * The Constitutional Council The decisions of the Constitutional Council are not subject to review
* Only a losing candidate has the right to appeal the results of the parliamentary elections before the Constitutional Council.