Headline
** Their Lordships would not convict him as enemy of the country if anyone had opposed Padma Bridge ** Desperate bid to keep reserve stable ** College teacher Utpal murder: Prime accused held in Gazipur ** WB Board approves $1.03 billion for Bangladesh and Nepal to help improve regional trade ** Inner containment dome installed at Unit-2 of Rooppur N-power plant ** Adity Sarker, a doctor, dies from self-inflicted burn wounds ** College teacher murder: Prime accused’s father arrested from Kushtia ** 135 Indian fishermen detained by Navy ** At least 51 dead in prison riot fire in Colombia, prisons agency says ** River transporters face uncertainty over ‘special’ Eid services ** Siltation of riverbeds and haors is the main cause of floods ** DUTA protests humiliation, killing of teacher ** Ferry services from Mawa terminal to continue: State Minister ** Padma Bridge to transform Bagerhat’s tourism industry ** Truck overturns after crossing Padma Bridge, injuring four people ** College teacher ‘beaten by students with cricket stump’ dies in Savar ** HC says govt must identify those who conspired against Padma Bridge project ** Fire at shoe factory in city under control ** Padma Bridge: Over Tk 2 cr toll collected from vehicles on 1st day ** Aggressive approach to collect more revenue is repressive for people ** Soybean oil price decreased by Tk 6 per liter ** Flood: 2 more deaths pushes up toll to 84 ** Padma Bridge opens to traffic; Hundreds of vehicles seen at Mawa and Jajira ends ** 2 killed in Rajbari road crash ** Global Covid cases near 549 million **

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.

Tariff
Add Rate