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12 April 2018 The EU Election Observation Mission Team meets Lebanese President General Aoun and Prime Minister Hariri

This week, the EU Election Observation Mission in Lebanon, led by MEP Elena Valenciano, is meeting with top Lebanese officials. Valenciano has met the president of Lebanon, General Aoun, the Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and the Foreign Affairs Minister Gebran Bassil. Meetings with the presidents of the Constitutional and Election Authority Council as well as the leaders of several Lebanese parties are also in the agenda.

Following the invitation by the Lebanese authorities, the European Union is deploying this Election Observation Mission (EOM) to observe the Parliamentary elections, due to take place on 6 May 2018. These elections are the first ones in almost a decade and they will be held under a new electoral framework approved in 2017. In Valenciano’s words, ‘Previous EU EOM reporting and recommendations have proved to be an important incentive for political consensus among Lebanon’s political parties and some have been integrated in the new law. I am confident that the 2018 EU EOM will provide an appreciated contribution to enhancing further the quality of the electoral process.” On 13 April, the Election Observation Mission is being presented at a press conference. The mission is made up of 9 analysts, 60 observers and a technical team. The team will stay in the country until the completion of the electoral process, and will prepare a comprehensive final report.

In parallel, on 6 April the EU launched an Election Observation Mission in Tunisia to monitor local elections, which will be held next 6 May. It constitutes the third election observation mission deployed by the EU to Tunisia since 2011. It is made up by 7 electoral analysts and more than 80 observers headed by MEP Fabio Massimo Castaldo.