In a report circulated, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for Lebanon’s parliamentary elections on May 15 to be “free, fair transparent and inclusive,” and urged the quick formation of a government that gives priority to implementing reforms addressing the country’s multiple crises.
Political polarization in the country has deepened and the Lebanese people “are struggling daily to meet basic essential needs,” Guterres said in the report directed to the UN Security Council.
The frequent protests across the country sparked by “public frustration with the political situation and the economic and financial crisis” were pointed to by the UN chief.
The May 15 elections for parliament are the first since Lebanon’s economic meltdown began in late 2019. The elections are also a first since the catastrophic explosion at Beirut port on August 4, 2020, which killed more than 215 people and wrecked large parts of the city.
The destruction sparked widespread outrage at the traditional parties’ endemic corruption and mismanagement.