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A Lebanese election day

Posted by padams under All, Political Strategy

Paul Adams

Zahle, Lebanon

E-day was long and exciting. Unexpectedly high turnout and overly large polls produced very long lines to vote in Zahle, the hotly contested city in the Bekaa Valley where I was stationed. The problem was especially serious in women’s polls. (In Lebanon, most people vote in gender-specific polls, and most also in “confession”-only polls, i.e. Sunnis vote with Sunnis, and Greek Orthodox with Greek Orthodox, etc..)

We say plenty of verbal aggression and pushing and shoving, but no real violence. I retuned to my hotel at 1 a.m. after going to the court of revision, but was kept up until 3 a.m. with all the celebratory gunfire though.



Some of the voters we saw waited as long as 4 hours to vote. Women’s polls were especially problematic.                                                                                                                  

A minister draws a crowd when visiting an especially chaotic polling station in a village near Zahle.

Hezbollah party agents “scrutineer” the voting process.

 A Hezbollah voter wearing party colours.

Waiting to vote.

More waiting.


Paul Adams teaches journalism at Carleton and in is Lebanon this week as an election observer with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI).