Short-term parliamentary election observers of the European Union Election Observation Mission to Lebanon (EU EOM) leave a hotel, heading to respective areas for elections observation in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, May 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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Low voter turnout was the focus of the Washington-based National Democratic Institute's election observation released Monday, a day after Lebanon's first elections in nearly a decade. The statement noted a number of problems with the electoral process.Nicole Rowsell, a senior adviser at the NDI, told The Daily Star that expectations for voter turnout had been quite high among political stakeholders due to the length of time that had passed since the last parliamentary elections, the introduction of out-of-country voting, and the high number of first-time voters.However, turnout during Sunday's elections was reported at just 49.2 percent, significantly lower than the 56 percent turnout of the 2016 municipal elections. LADE reported 222 incidents of intimidation and pressuring of voters.The LADE report stated that there were 242 reported incidents of polling stations not being suitable for voters with special needs.
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