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Lebanese vote for new parliament members Sunday

BEIRUT, May 14 (KUNA) -- Lebanese eligible voters head to the ballot stations on Sunday to elect new members of the 128-seat parliament in the shadow of extraordinary security measures throughout the 10,425 square-km Mediterranean country Lebanese Ministry of Interior has affirmed that the electorate accounts to more than 3.7 million, distributed over 15 constituencies, where ballots will be cast at 7,000 electoral centers.
Up to 718 candidates are jostling to occupy a seat in the legislative assembly. The nominees are registered in 103 competing lists, according to the private Information International studies company.
Beirut Governorate includes two constituencies (the first has eight seats and, the second 11 ones), Southern Mount Lebanon Governorate (three constituencies: the first five seats, the second seven and the third 11), Al-Beqaa Governorate: The first seven seats, the second six and the third ten). The North Governorate comprises: The first constituency (seven seats, the second 11 and the third ten). Mount Lebanon Province has the largest number of constituencies, comprises four. The first constituency in the governorate includes eight seats, the second eight, the third three and the fourth 13.
Pre-election silence has taken effect since around midnight. These polls are distinguished with absence of Saad Al-Hariri, son of the slain ex-premier Rafiq Al-Hariri, who had opted to abstain from engagement in politics and elections.
The polls will be held amid extraordinary security measures, executed by the internal security forces and the army. They will be held against backdrop of an unprecedented economic-living crisis, marked with sharp deterioration of the Lebanese pound, trading ar around 25,000 against a USD.
The economic crisis has deepened poverty in the country and boosted immigration, particularly among the youth. (end) ayb.rk