Lebanon’s government approved allocating $18 million on Tuesday for the purpose of holding a parliamentary election, Telecoms Minister Johnny Corm stated following a cabinet meeting.
Lebanon’s financial system collapsed in 2019, and several officials expressed fear about elections being postponed due to financial limitations.
Acting Information Minister Abbas Halabi quoted Prime Minister Najib Mikati as saying that the previous vote in 2018 cost the state $54 million, but that only a considerably lower sum was available now.
The United Nations and Western nations have repeatedly pushed Lebanese officials to hold elections on schedule and with sufficient resources, out of concern that powerful political parties may exploit the financial crisis as an excuse to postpone the vote.
May 15 would be the first election for the 128-member assembly since October 2019 protests political elites largely blamed for decades of corruption and mismanagement.
Joanna Wronecka, the United Nations special coordinator for Lebanon, had earlier on Tuesday “emphasized the critical nature of holding elections on time,” according to a UN statement.
“I hope the Council of Ministers approves the electoral budget…so that preparations can begin immediately and there is no cloud of uncertainty hanging over the election,” Wronecka said in a statement.