Lebanon: Elections Watchdog Will Audit Candidates’ Accounts

Lebanon: Elections Watchdog Will Audit Candidates’ Accounts

Tuesday, 24 April, 2018 - 09:30
A picture taken on April 3, 2018 shows campaign posters, for the upcoming Lebanese parliamentary election, hanging in the Tariq Jedideh district of Beirut. (AFP Photo/Anwar Amro)
Beirut- Asharq Al Awsat
The head of the Elections Supervisory Commission, Judge Nadim Abdel Malek, said that the commission would establish contracts with auditors to follow up the electoral spending and audit the monthly accounts of candidates, to find out they exceeded the electoral ceiling.

“We had some simple obstacles and we are addressing them,” he said. “There are no longer any serious obstacles hindering the proper work of the commission.”

Candidates, who exceed the expenditure ceiling, will have their candidacies rescinded, according to the official.

In a news conference on Monday, Abdel Malek noted that the commission’s budget had been approved following complains that failure to allocate the necessary funds had hampered their ability to do their job.

Last week, a member of the commission, Sylvana Lakkis, submitted her resignation, due to the body’s “inability” to carry out its responsibilities.

Addressing reporters at the news conference, Abdel Malek said: “We are still trying to overcome some difficulties that Lakkis mentioned, but it won’t force us to resign.”

He noted in this regard that the commission was surprised at Lakkis’ decision and that following consultations with Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, he contacted the resigned member asking her to go back on her decision.

“There is no return from my resignation,” Lakkis responded in a statement following the news conference. She thanked Abdel Malek and wished the committee luck.

Abdel Malek said that the commission would soon contact auditors to begin assessing candidates’ campaign spending.

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