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** We see no end to overwhelming lawlessness everywhere: Problem is muscle politics ** Remittance dips 15pc amid forex crisis ** Lawyer’s six bank accounts frozen ** CEC assures OECD envoys to hold inclusive, acceptable polls ** Exports hit record $ 52b in outgoing fiscal year ** Visitors suffer from online ticketing at Nat’l Museum ** Govt to lower age bracket for children to punish teen gangs ** Motorcycles on Padma Bridge not allowed before Eid-ul-Azha ** SSC likely to be in August ** Environment is absent for participation of girl students at colleges and universities ** City residents yet to get respite from waterlogging ** Plastic mini packs harming health, environ severely ** US to send Ukraine advanced surface-to-air missile systems ** Padma bridge Record collection of Tk 3.16cr in one day ** Country reports 6 more Covid deaths with 1,105 cases ** Another killed in road crash in Padma bridge area ** A huge quantity of local and foreign currencies, gold and silver jewelries in 16 sacks were found from the charity boxes of Pagla Masjid in Kishoreganj. Several hundreds including people from district admin, banks as well as madrasa students participated in counting the money and assorting the wealth. After every three months, the boxes are opened, but this time they were opened after 110 days and found Tk 3.60 crore. Last time, about Tk 4 crore, foreign currencies as well as gold jewelries were found from the mosque’s charity boxes. NN photo ** Padma Bridge Khulna Railway Station missing passengers’ hustle-bustle ** BB's monetary policy inadequately addresses inflation ** Long tailbacks on toll plaza as all booths were not operational ** Eid advance train ticket sales begin ** Flood is likely to be prolonged ** Foreign envoys in Dhaka remember those killed ** 1,500 militants arrested since Holey Artisan attack: RAB DG ** DGHS reports 5 more Covid deaths, 1,897 new cases **

Lebanon votes in first election since crisis

16 May 2022
Lebanon votes in first election since crisis


BSS :
Lebanon headed to the polls Sunday for its first election since multiple crises dragged it to the brink of failed statehood, with the ruling elite expected to comfortably weather public anger.
The parliamentary election is a first test for opposition movements spawned by an unprecedented anti-establishment uprising in 2019 that briefly raised hopes of regime change in Lebanon.
Yet observers have warned not to expect any seismic shift, with every lever of power firmly in the hands of traditional sectarian parties and an electoral system rigged in their favour.
After an underwhelming campaign stifled by the nation's all-consuming economic predicament, 3.9 million Lebanese will be eligible to vote when polls open at 7:00 am (0400 GMT).
Independents can hope for more than the lone seat they clinched in 2018 but most of parliament's 128 seats will remain in the clutches of the very political class that is blamed for the country's woes.
The outgoing chamber was dominated by the Iran-backed Shiite movement Hezbollah and its two main allies: the Shiite Amal party of Speaker Nabih Berri and the Christian Free Patriotic Movement of President Michel Aoun.
"It seems almost impossible to imagine Lebanon voting for more of the same-and yet that appears to be the likeliest outcome," said Sam Heller, an analyst with the Century Foundation.
Since the last election, the country has been mutilated by a blast at the Beirut port that went down as one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history and deepened one of the most spectacular economic downturns of our time.
The Lebanese pound has lost 95 percent of its value, people's savings are blocked in banks, minimum wage won't buy a tank of petrol and mains electricity comes on only two hours a day.
More than 80 percent of the population is now considered poor by the United Nations, with the most desperate increasingly attempting perilous boat crossings to flee to Europe.
Once described as the Switzerland of the Middle East, Lebanon ranked second-to-last behind Afghanistan in the latest World Happiness Index released in March.
Numbed by the daily hardships of the economic crisis, many registered voters have seemed indifferent to an election that they doubted would even be held until a few days ago.
Despite international pressure to reform Lebanese politics, the corruption that sank the country is still rife, including in the electoral process.
The crisis has only widened the gap in purchasing power between the politicians who buy votes and the electorate that sells them.
At one candidate's rally in the northern city of Tripoli, some well-wishers disappointed by the lack of cash handouts made off with the plastic chairs.
While Sunday's election might not topple their reviled leadership, some Lebanese see the vote as an important test for the principles that arose during the October 2019 uprising.

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