Lebanese expatriates in six Arab countries on Friday began casting ballots for parliamentary elections, according to the Lebanese Foreign Ministry.
It is the first time for Lebanese living overseas to vote in the country’s parliamentary polls.
On Friday morning, Lebanese nationals in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Egypt began casting ballots at their respective embassies.
“For the first time in the history of the Lebanese Republic, Lebanese living abroad are able to vote,” Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil told reporters at the ministry’s Beirut headquarters.
According to Bassil, 82,970 Lebanese expatriates have already cast ballots.
“Expat voter turnout today will be very important,” he said.
The second phase of the expatriate vote will be held on Sunday in 30 more countries.
The polls will see 917 candidates from a host of competing political parties compete for 128 seats in Lebanon’s national assembly.
Polling will be conducted in Lebanon on May 6 under a new proportional system, which divides the country into 15 separate electoral constituencies.