Lebanon--2011 FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Report


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2011 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit of the Lebanon republic electoral system.

FDA auditors gave Lebanon an overall electoral score of 35%. (50% is the minimum passing grade.)

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Lebanon--2011 FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Report

  1. 1. 2011 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit ofLebanon’s Republic Electoral SystemExecutive Summary: Lebanon received a failing overall score of 37.5 percent forelectoral fairness. The score means that there is more unfairness than fairness in the legalbasis for Lebanons republic electoral system. Lebanons electoral finance laws favorsignificantly wealthy candidates and parties, and the legal structure of the electoralsystem favors Christians and Muslims over all other religious and non-religiousfollowings. Also, Lebanon has poor enforcement mechanisms of its media laws. Despitethese elements of unfairness, Lebanese people have freedom of political expression andtheir media laws, which encourage impartiality, are on a progressive and democratictrajectory. Electoral Fairness Audit Completed June 9, 2011. Updated July 10, 2011.
  2. 2. About the Foundation for Democratic Advancement:The Foundation for Democratic Advancement ("FDA")s mission is to advance fair andtransparent democratic processes wherever elections occur. The FDA believes that fairerelectoral systems and a more informed public will help ensure the election of candidates whotruly represent the will of the people. The FDA fulfills its mission by performing detailedelectoral audits on political candidates and parties to inform the public, objectively andimpartially, about their electoral choices. Also, the FDA audits electoral legislation in terms offairness and equity, and conducts ground level assessments of democratic processes. (For moreinformation on the FDA visit: www.democracychange.com)Purpose of Electoral Fairness Audit:The purpose of the FDAs electoral fairness audit (the “Audit”) is to determine a grade andranking for electoral fairness in Lebanon at the republic level of government. (This Audit is partof the FDA’s global audit of electoral fairness involving all countries which hold politicalelections.)This non-partisan, independent determination aims to give the citizens of Lebanon an informed,objective perspective of the fairness of the Lebanese republic electoral system.The views in this electoral fairness audit are the views of the FDA only.The FDA’s members and volunteers are in no way affiliated with the Lebanese SupervisoryCommittee or any of the Lebanese registered/non-registered political parties.The Audit represents an independent assessment based on objectivity, transparency and non-partisanship. The FDA assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors in the calculation ofits audit results or inaccuracies in its research of relevant Lebanese legislation.Methodology for the Electoral Fairness Audit:The FDA focuses on four key areas of electoral fairness:1) Laws and regulations on the political content of media including newspapers, broadcasters andonline media before, during, and after elections;2) Laws and regulations on the equality of candidates’ and parties’ influence before, during andafter elections, such as national televised debates, restrictions on candidate nominations, partyregistration requirements, etc.;3) Laws and regulations on electoral finance, such as party and campaign donation limits, thirdparty spending limits etc.; and4) Laws and regulations on the equality of voter say before, during, and after an election. TheFoundation for Democratic Advancement
  3. 3. FDA looked at how Lebanese laws and regulations promote equality of voter say in the media, atthe polling booth, through electoral finance and constitutional laws etc.The FDA decided to evaluate these four areas of electoral fairness because, in our opinion, theyare often ignored or overlooked by the international community in determining electoral fairness.Moreover, these four areas cover broad aspects of the electoral process in which fairness couldbe compromised significantly.The FDA acknowledges that electoral laws and regulations may not necessarily correspond to theimplementation of those laws and regulations or the public’s response to them. Theimplementation and response could be positive or negative, in terms of electoral fairness.Nevertheless, laws and regulations provide the framework for the electoral system and anindication of electoral fairness.A further study which tracks the actions of mainstream media and the enforcement or non-enforcement of electoral laws and regulation, for example, would provide a more reliable overalldetermination of electoral fairness.The FDA researched current Lebanese legislation, in relation to the four areas of electoralfairness being examined. Following which, the FDA audited the research results via the FDAelectoral audit team and established FDA scoring scales for the four areas of electoral fairness.Weighting and Scoring:Overall, the FDA scoring is guided by an inherent valuation of the concepts of soundness andrelevancy.Each area of electoral fairness has a score range between 0 and 10, and each area is countedequally.The total averaged score will provide an indication of the level of electoral fairness in Lebanon.The FDA electoral audit team deliberated on the research for each area of electoral fairness, andthen attempted to reach consensus on the final score. Where no consensus could be reached, theindividual scores of the team were averaged.The final score for each section must be supported by the more sound reasons and correspond tothe established FDA scoring scale.FDA Researchers for the Lebanese republic electoral system:Mrs. Linda Dassin, bachelor of Law (Université Paul Cézanne), lawyer, FDA researcher, andLebanese citizen.Foundation for Democratic Advancement
  4. 4. FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Team:Chief Electoral Auditor:Mr. Stephen Garvey, FDA founder and executive director, bachelors degree in Political Science(University of British Columbia), and masters degree in Environment and Development(University of Cambridge).Electoral Auditors:Mrs. Linda Dassin, bachelor of Law (Université Paul Cézanne), lawyer, FDA researcher, andLebanese citizen.Mr. Aurangzeb Qureshi, FDA director of marketing, researcher, bachelor degree in PoliticalScience (University of Alberta), and bachelor degree in Journalism (University of KingsCollege).Mrs. Liza Valentine, FDA design consultant, masters degree in Architecture (University ofCalgary) and researcher.Ms. Larisa Vortman, teaching diploma (University of Foreign Languages in Irkutsk, RussiaFDA), specialization French and English, FDA volunteer and researcher, and Russian citizen.Information Sources:The following information was consulted and utilized in this audit report:The Lebanese ConstitutionThe Lebanese Parliamentary Election Law n°25Official Website of Parliamentary Elections 2009:www.elections.gov.lbThe Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections Website:www.lade.org.lbThe international foundation for electoral systems http://www.ifes.org/The Lebanese Transparency Association http://www.transparency-lebanon.org/index.php?lang=enThe National Democratic Institute Report on Lebanonhttp://www.ndi.org/files/Lebanese_Elections_Report_2009.pdfFoundation for Democratic Advancement
  5. 5. © 2011, Foundation for Democratic AdvancementAll rights reserved.Foundation for Democratic Advancement728 Northmount Drive NWPO Box 94Calgary, AlbertaCanada, T2K 1P0info@democracychange.comFoundation for Democratic Advancement
  6. 6. Table of Contents:Background information on the Lebanese Electoral System 8Chapter 1: Political Content of Media 11Executive Summary 11Research Excerpt 11Score 12Rational 12Chapter 2 Equality of Political Candidate and Party Influence 13Executive Summary 13Research Excerpt 13Score 15Rational 15Chapter 3: Equality of Electoral Finance 16Executive Summary 16Research Excerpt 16Score 17Rational 17Chapter 4: Equality of Voter Say 18Executive Summary 18Research Excerpt 18Score 20Rational 20
  7. 7. Chapter 5: Overall Audit Results 21Chapter 6: Analysis 22Chapter 7: Conclusion 23Chapter 8: Recommendations 24Appendix: FDA Global Audit Results 25
  8. 8. Background information on the Lebanese Electoral SystemLebanon is a parliamentary Republic. Since its first Constitution of 1926 – when still underFrench Mandate – the political system has been characterized by the logic of confessional powersharing in the state institutions and the public administration.The ‘National Pact’ reserves the presidency to a Maronite Christian, the position of PrimeMinister to a Sunni Muslim and the post of speaker of the Chamber of Deputies to a Shi’ite. TheChamber of Deputies indirectly elects the President1 for a six-year non-renewable term.The Lebanese Parliament: confessional seats.The Lebanese Parliament is a unicameral body consisting of 128 directly elected deputies. Inaccordance with the Constitution, all parliamentary seats are divided equally between Christiansand Muslims.The seats are further sub-divided into eleven confessional branches. The distribution of the 128seats among the eleven confessions is formalized under the 2008 Election Law. 2The single seat for Christian Minorities is intended to provide parliamentary representation forsix recognized confessional groups. Lebanese citizens of any other religion, including two thatare formally recognized by the State, are unable to be elected to Parliament.The Electoral system :The 2008 Election Law allocates 128 parliamentary seats among the 26 election districts shownon the map.1Art. 49 (2) of the Constitution states that: the President of the Republic shall be elected by secret ballot and by two thirdmajority of the Chamber of Deputies. After a first ballot, an absolute majority shall be sufficient.2Article 1 of the Parliamentary Elections Law n°25Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page 8
  9. 9. Lebanon’s electoral system has five basic elements :  The right to stand is confessional : Seats can only be contested by candidates who are from the confession it is allocated to.  The right to vote is non-confessional : Voters can vote for all available confessional seats, regardless of the voter’s own confessional group.  Voters have more than one vote : Lebanon uses multi-member electoral districts. Voters are able to vote for as many candidates as there are seats available ( the black vote system).  Voters vote with e single ballot paper : On a single ballot paper, a voter chooses the names of candidates they wish to vote for. A voter may choose to use only some of the votes they are entitled to.  It is a plurality/ majority system : Where there is only one seat for a confession, the seat is won by whichever candidateFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page 9
  10. 10. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page 10
  11. 11. Chapter One: Political Content of MediaChapter one will focus on the research and audit results of Lebanese laws and regulations withrespect to the political content of media, including newspapers, broadcasters and on-line media,before, during and after elections.Executive Summary:Lebanon received a satisfactory score of 60 percent for equality of political content. The scoremeans that Lebanese political content laws are more fair than unfair. Lebanese legislationrequires that the political content of public and private media and broadcasters to be impartial.However, there are weak provisions to monitor and enforce impartiality.Research Excerpts:The following excerpts were identified by the FDA researchers as relevant. The FDA researchersmade some excerpts bold to emphasize high relevance:The Lebanese media landscape is as characterised by confessionalism as are the politicalinstitutions.By convention the head of the Journalists’ Union is a Christian while the head of the Publishers’Union is a Muslim. Confessionalism and the power of political families also determined thelicensing of private TV stations under the 1994 audio-visual media law.These stations included55 :- Future TV, owned by the Hariri family- The National Broadcasting Network, owned by the family of Parliamentary speaker Berri- Al Manar TV, controlled by Hezbollah- LBCI Tv formed originally by the Lebanese Forces .A major shareholder is formerDeputy Prime Minister Issam Fares (Greek Orthodox). It is now considered to be more neutral -New TV (NTV), originally formed by the Lebanese Communist Party, but later controlled byTahsin Khayat, who supported the ‘People’s Movement’ (Arab nationalist, Greek orthodox) -Orange TV owned by the Aoun family- In January 2009 Murr TV will be re-launched. It is co-owned by FL and former MP GabrielMurrThe public TV station Télé-Liban does not enjoy a large audience.The New Law introduces regulation for paid media advertising by obliging all mediacompanies intending to sell electoral advertising to report to the Supervisory Commission,including specifics of the advertising space or time they will sell and their price list. Thesesubmissions must be made ‘ten days before the beginning of the electoral campaign’ (Article 66).The media is also now required to sell political advertising space to all candidates and atthe same price.Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page 11
  12. 12. Electoral ads must be marked as such and indicate the advertising party.Requests for advertising and the relevant material (videotape, or print ad) should besubmitted not only to the media company but also to the Supervisory Commission at leastthree days before the desired publication.No candidate should spend more than 50% of their advertising budget with any singlemedia company.The New Law also regulates election coverage (in addition to advertising), requiring thepublic media to remain impartial. They may not: “carry out any activity that might beconsidered to favour any candidate or list at the expense of another candidate or list” (Article67).All audio-visual media, including private media, are required to respect the freedom ofexpression, so that: “fairness, balance and impartiality among candidates and lists would beguaranteed” (Article 68).Electoral Fairness Audit Results for Media and Broadcasters:Score:The FDA electoral fairness audit team reached consensus on a score of 6/10Rational for Score:Media and broadcasters required to be impartial.The impartiality of the media is weakly enforced, though there is some adherence to theimpartiality in the form of no blatant examples of partiality.Media controlled and owned by political figures and families.Public media though impartial has an insignificant viewing audience compared to private media.International observers provide some monitoring of the media impartiality.Due to the weak enforcement of the media impartiality, the score was reduced from 8 to 6. If alaw is being weakly monitored and enforced, then the law is ineffective. However, there is someadherence to impartiality by the lack of extreme examples of partiality in the private media.Public media has an insignificant viewing audience and therefore does not offset the partiality ofprivate media.Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page 12
  13. 13. Chapter Two: Candidates’ and Parties’ InfluenceChapter two will focus on the research and audit results of Lebanese laws and regulations withrespect to the equality of candidates and parties’ influence before, during and after elections.Executive Summary:Lebanon received a failing score of 30 percent for equality of candidate and party influence. Thescore means that there is significantly more unfairness of candidate and party influence thanfairness. The 50 percent sharing of Assembly seats for Muslims and Christians is unfair to othernon-Muslim and non-Christian candidates and parties. Also, the 50 percent sharing of seats doesnot reflect that the Muslims in terms of population are 20 percent more than Christians. Further,the weakness of the Supervisory Committee in enforcing impartiality of the media favors thoseparties who own private media or are supported by private media. Although, the public mediahas to be impartial, it has an insignificant viewing audience as compared to private media.Research Excerpts:The following excerpts were identified by the FDA researchers as relevant. The FDA researchersmade some excerpts bold to emphasize high relevance:Local authorities must assign locations for campaign posters and other printed advertisingmaterial. Candidates are only permitted to advertise on these designated spaces. Given thatin Lebanon election campaigning tends to be intense, involving widespread poster advertising, itremains to be seen if this provision is realistic. While the law is not explicit (Article 70),presumably each candidate has the right to equal advertising space.Public buildings, private universities, schools and houses of worship may not be used forcampaigning.The law also prohibits the distribution of ballot papers or flyers in or near polling stationson election day. Traditionally candidates’ agents beleaguer Lebanese voters at polling stationentrances and it would mark progress if this practice were now prevented.The composition of the Chamber, as provided by Article 24 of the Constitution, is based on thefollowing principles:a) Equal representation between Christians and Muslims b) Proportional representation among the confessional groups within each religious communityc) Proportional representation among geographic regions.The third criterion is not respected. Regions are not proportionally represented: areas withconcentrations of Muslim voters are underrepresented (in particular in the south of thecountry). It is possible to respect all three criteria of Article 24, but not if Christian politicalplayers insist that most ‘Christian seats’ are elected by majority Christian electorates. Such ademand, accepted by the New Law, violates Article 24 of 2008 of the Constitution by creatingFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page 13
  14. 14. inequalities in the value of vote: a seat in a redrawn Christian district is elected by fewer votersthan in a Muslim area, making a Muslim vote worth less than a Christian vote.The electoral system now worked in favor of well-organized parties or groups of candidates,enabling them to win all seats in a constituency, excluding other groups from any seats at all andblocking minorities in a constituency from electing any of the representatives they desired.During elections :Right to Stand: Registration of Candidates and ListsAll seats are reserved for specific confessions. In the past this meant that a candidate could notstand for election in a district if their confession had no seats there. A problem with confessionalrepresentation has been that candidates who are not affiliated to any of the 11 confessionsrepresented in Parliament (because they follow another religion or have no religious belief) areunable to stand for elections.Registered voters who are at least 25 years old, literate and in possession of full civil andpolitical rights are allowed to run for elections.Naturalised Lebanese are eligible only 10 years after they gain citizenship.A candidate can only run for election in one electoral district.The law restricts military personnel, public personnel of the first and second rank, judges,chairmen or board members of public institutions as well as directors of these institutionsand presidents and vice-presidents of municipal councils from standing as candidates. Insome of these cases, a period must elapse after retirement or resignation from these posts beforethe right to stand is recovered. (Article 10)Candidates have to pay a fee of two million Lebanese Pounds (around €1,000) and a depositof six million Lebanese Pounds. These are significant amounts, which bar poorer candidatesfrom standing in elections.Equality of Votes and Confessional RepresentationThis equality requirement is problematic in Lebanon, because it can conflict with the idea ofconfessional representation. Already the requirement that 50% of the seats should be filled byChristian candidates is a challenge to equality, given that Christian voters represent only40% of the electorate. However, this is not in itself a violation of the equality of votes as longas each seat represents a similar number of registered voters (or population).Election Observation : Each candidate or list can delegate representatives to each pollingstation in their electoral district to witness polling and the counting of votes (Article 83)Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page 14
  15. 15. Electoral Fairness Audit Results for Equality of Candidates and Parties:Score:The FDA electoral fairness audit team reached consensus on a score of 3/10.Rational for Score:There is an equal 50% split in political representation for Muslims and Christians. (Political seatsare reserved only for Muslims and Christians.) However, the 50% split is based on a 1923survey, which does not reflect the current 60%/40% split in population favoring Muslims overChristians. Muslims are unfairly represented.The electoral system favors Muslims and Christians over non-Muslims and Christians.Electoral finance favors dominant, wealthy parties, because candidate registration fees areexpensive ($1,400.00 USD per candidate) and candidate spending limits are high ($100,000.00USD per candidate).Lebanese living abroad can make contributions to candidates and parties, and therefore,depending where they live, have an unfair advantage over Lebanese in the homeland whoseincomes may be a fraction of those living abroad.The media is partial.Placement of poster advertisement is equal among parties and candidates, and prices of electoraladvertisements have to be equal for all candidates and parties. Also, not more than 50% of aparty’s advertising budget can be spent at one source.The score of 3 derives from the fairness of poster advertisement and freedom to make acontribution to a party. However, there is significant unfairness in the electoral system favoringof Muslims and Christians. Also, the equal electoral representation for Muslims and Christiansignores that the Muslims are 20% greater in population. Further, the electoral finance laws favordominant, wealthy parties and candidates. In the backdrop, the private media’s political content,through poor monitoring and enforcement, is allowed to be partial without extremes.Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page 15
  16. 16. Chapter Three: Electoral FinanceChapter three will focus on the research and audit results of Lebanese laws and regulations withrespect to the equality of Lebanese laws and regulations with respect to electoral finance.Executive Summary:Lebanon received a failing score of 20 percent for equality of electoral finance. The score meansthat there is significantly more unfairness than fairness in Lebanons electoral finance laws. Theelectoral finance laws favor significantly wealthy candidates and parties through, for example,high expenditure limits and expensive registration fees for candidates. Also, Lebanese livingabroad (in developed countries) have an unfair advantage over Lebanese living in the homeland,in terms of the amount of gifts and contributions donated to political candidates and parties.Research Excerpts:The following excerpts were identified by the FDA researchers as relevant. The FDA researchersmade some excerpts bold to emphasize high relevance:It is unclear when the campaign period starts. This should be clarified through sub-legalacts (government decrees).The New Law fails to specify when the national electoral campaign begins, although it starts forpotential candidates when they submit their applications (Article 54). Given that persons canregister for candidature once elections are called (at least 90 days before elections), there remainsa significant period (at least 30 days) until the registration deadline (60 days before the election),giving an unfair advantage to those who register first and creating confusion for otherstakeholders. For example, the media need to know when campaign coverage rules come intoforce.In the past money has played a major role in election campaigning and observers have criticizeda lack of regulation. The New Law contains detailed provisions on campaign financing(chapter five of the law).Candidates now have to open a single bank account for all donations and campaignexpenditure, and each candidate may now spend no more than 150 million LebanesePounds (approximately €80,000) per election, plus an additional sum based on the number ofvoters in their electoral district and fixed by the Council of Ministers acting on therecommendation of the Ministry of the Interior. A candidate may spend their ‘own money’ (including family resources) and may receivedonations from Lebanese citizens (natural or legal persons).Gifts in kind, cash or ‘subscriptions’ (party dues) are considered campaign contributions,with the exception of the work of volunteers.Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page 16
  17. 17. Candidates may not give donations to voters or organizations during the election campaignperiod. The Supervisory Commission can form a committee to supervise candidates’ adherenceto campaign financing regulations and can check candidates’ campaign accounts at any time.Within one month of the elections candidates must submit detailed campaign accounts tobe audited by the Supervisory Commission (Article19 no.4). Intentional breaches of thecampaign financing provisions incur a fine or a prison sentence of up to six months. However, itwill be difficult to prove intentional breach of these provisions. The New Law fails to specifyhow the Supervisory Commission can enforce accountability of candidates for theiraccounting. The Law includes no sanctions for false accounting, if no intent can be proven.Furthermore there are no deadlines by which the Commission should review accounts and norequirement to publish accounts of candidates. The new regulations risk irrelevance unless theSupervisory Commission resolves these failings in its internal regulations.Electoral Fairness Audit Results for Lebanese Election Finance:Score:The FDA electoral fairness audit team reached consensus on a score of 2/10.Rational for Score:Electoral finance due to high spending limits and high registration fees favor dominant, wealthyparties and candidates. Also, Lebanese living abroad have an unfair advantage over Lebaneseliving in the homeland, in terms gifts and contributions to political parties. Lebanese diasporaoutnumber homeland Lebanese 12 million to 4 million.Candidates are required to pay $1,400.00 USD for electoral registration. This fee is significantwhen there are 300 candidates, for example, to be registered.The score of 20 percent reflects the significant unfairness of the Lebanese electoral finance laws.The score is supported by the fact that there is equal freedom to contribute to political parties andcandidates for Lebanese from the homeland and abroad.Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page 17
  18. 18. Chapter Four: Voter SayChapter four will focus on the research and audit results of Lebanese laws and regulations withrespect to the equality of voter say laws and regulations before, during and after an election.Executive Summary:Lebanon received a failing score of 40 percent for equality of voter say. The score means thatLebanons laws for equality of voter say are more unfair than fair. Though Lebanese people havefreedom of expression and freedom to decide who they vote for and donate to, electoral financelaws favor wealthy voters, and wealthy candidates and parties. Also, the FDA could find noLebanese processes for voter electoral complaints, and some voters are subject to inconvenienceand irrelevance by all voters having to vote in the electoral district of their family origin. Addedto these points, there are weak mechanisms to monitor and enforce the impartiality of the privatemedia.Research Excerpts:The following excerpts were identified by the FDA researchers as relevant. The FDA researchersmade some excerpts bold to emphasize high relevance:List of exclusions for persons with convictions for specified felonies or misdemeanors(Article 4). Non-retired military personnel are not allowed to vote. This includes among othersthe army, public security forces and the customs police (Article 6).Naturalised persons are only allowed to vote ten years after naturalisation (Article 5). Thisconflicts with the UN HRC’s interpretation of the obligations under Article 25 ICCPR.There are no provisions for housebound, hospitalised or detained citizens to vote.Arrangements should be made to enable such citizens to vote, although this would need carefulhandling given the history of vote buying and lack of secrecy in Lebanese elections.Voters can complain about mistakes and omissions to a Registration Committee in theirarea and complaints against decisions of these committees may be made to the electiondistrict’s Higher Registration Committee.The law contains no procedures on how the Higher Registration Committees should dealwith these complaints (for example, concerning the time frame in which a ruling should bemade and the notification of concerned voters).Voter registration is based on the peculiar concept of registration at the place of familyorigin. This ignores that many people do not live at the place of family origin. The law does notprovide for any exceptional revision of the voters’ lists prior to elections occurring between theupdating periods. Individuals becoming eligible for registration between 30 March and electionday are simply not added to the list and are effectively disenfranchised until the next updateFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page 18
  19. 19. period. Similarly, individuals who lose their eligibility remain recorded until their names areremoved during the next annual registration.The New Law introduces out-of-country voting. This is significant, because Lebanon has asizable diaspora. Each voter who is registered in Lebanon will be able to register with embassiesand consulates abroad, which will pass this information on to the Ministry of the Interior.The law sets out objective criteria for the establishment of polling stations: • A village with100 – 400 registered voters should have a polling station •Generally polling stations should notrepresent more than 400 voters, but if necessary for a smoothrunning of the elections the limit can be increased to a maximum of 800 voters • There shall be amaximum of 20 polling stations in one polling centreThe list of polling sites has to be published at least 30 days before election day.The practice of registering voters with their families in their ‘district of origin’ is alongstanding administrative practice and is not enshrined in the election law. Voters arefurther allocated to polling stations by confessions, family and gender (This is unpractical,necessitating significant amounts of travel on election day and not following the real populationdistribution).Under the New Law polling is to take place on one Sunday, from 7am until 7pm.Voters are entitled to vote with their ID or their passport, which are checked against data in thevoters’ list in each polling station.The New Law increases the security and integrity of the polling process by introducingtransparent ballot boxes and indelible ink to mark the fingers of those who have voted.The secrecy of the vote is not guaranteed because there is no uniform, exclusive officialballot; voters can write their choice on any piece of paper. In reality candidates and lists oftenprepare ballots that allow them to track ballots cast by certain voters or families. There is norequirement to use official ballot papers. When voters enter the polling station they are:“supposed to discretely hold a paper containing the names of candidates they wish to elect“(Article 87).In addition to the staff appointed by the governor ahead of election day, four assistants areadded on election day morning: two are chosen by the head of the polling station and twoby the voters present at the opening of the polling station from among themselves.System for Complaints and Appeals`The New Electoral Law provides for only two specific instances where complaints or appealsmay be made: complaints against decisions on voter registration by registration committeescan be lodged with the higher election committees - but only until March 30 each year (Article39). Secondly, refusals by the Ministry of the Interior to register a candidate can beappealed to the Council of State (Article 49).Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page 19
  20. 20. However, according to the administrative code (Article 63), all decisions by the publicadministration can be appealed to an administrative court.A number of sensitive aspects of the counting of votes and the aggregation process are notregulated in the law, including: there is no requirement for detailed results to be announcedat all levels of the process of aggregating results;there is no requirement that detailed results down to polling station level be published atthe end of the process; there are no provisions on how valid ballots should be transferred tothe Central Bank for storage.Electoral Fairness Audit Results for Equality of Voter Say:Score:The FDA electoral fairness audit team reached consensus on a score of 4/10.Rational for Score:Naturalized Lebanese have to wait 10 years before they can vote.Lebanese have freedom to express their political views.Lebanese in the homeland have to vote where their family originates which discourages voting,due to possible travel inconvenience and no interest or connection to a particular electoraldistrict. Also, not all parties are represented in all districts. It depends on the outdated 1923survey.There is no mechanism to deal with voter complaints about the electoral system.Electoral finance favors wealthy voters over less wealthy. Also, the Lebanese diaspora fromwealthy countries likely have an advantage over Lebanese from the homeland in terms of theamount of gifts contributions to political parties.The score of 40 percent is supported on grounds of equal freedom of expression of politicalviews, and yet unfair electoral finance, no mechanisms for voter electoral complaints, partisanprivate media, no suffrage for naturalized citizens for 10 years, and the possible inconvenienceand irrelevance of voting in the electoral district of family origin.Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page 20
  21. 21. Chapter Five: Audit ResultsChapter five will set out the FDA’s scores for each of the areas of the Lebanese electoral systemas set out above.1. Research and audit results for Lebanese laws and regulations on the political content of mediaincluding newspapers, broadcasters, online media, before, during, and after elections.6/102. Research and audit results for Lebanese Laws and regulations on the equality of candidatesand parties influence before, during and after elections.3/103. Research and audit results for Lebanese laws and regulations on electoral finance.2/104. Research and audit results for laws and regulations on the equality of voter say before, during,and after an election.4/10Total score: 15/4037.5 percentFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page 21
  22. 22. Chapter Six: AnalysisChapter six will provide a brief analysis of the FDA’s findings.Lebanon receives a failing overall score of 37.5 percent for electoral fairness. A failing scoremeans that there are numerous major deficiencies in most if not all of the Lebanon’s electorallegislation and related legislation.Lebanon’s only passing electoral fairness score is in equality of political content, in whichLebanon received 60 percent. This score means that there is more electoral fairness thanunfairness in the Lebanese political content laws and regulations.Lebanon and Venezuela both have electoral laws requiring the media and broadcasters to beimpartial.Lebanon has been a democracy since the year 2000.Lebanon scored higher overall, for example, than the United States, Canada, Russia, Argentina,Denmark, Mexico, Egypt, Tunisia, Cameroon, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria for electoral fairness:Lebanon 37.5% (F)Denmark 35% (F)Russia 35% (F)Argentina 32.5% (F)United States 30% (F)Canada 25.75% (F)Mexico 22.5% (F)Tunisia (under Ben Ali) 10% (F)Cameroon 2.5% (F)Yemen (under Saleh) 1.25% (F)Bahrain 0% (F)Egypt (under Mubarak) 0% (F)Syria (under Bashar al-Assad) 0% (F)Lebanon’s confessional political system is a way to manage conflict between Christians andMuslims.Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page 22
  23. 23. Chapter Seven: ConclusionChapter seven will provide a summary of the FDA’s findings.The Lebanese democracy is on the right track despite its overall failing grade of 37.5 per cent forelectoral fairness.Lebanon’s laws on the impartiality of the media and broadcasters are very advanced and centralto the main tenants of democracy--political equality and electoral fairness.Lebanon faces a challenge in dealing with religious strife. Presently, Lebanese democracy isbeing weakened to manage probable religious conflict. The FDA hopes overtime that theprinciples of democracy will trump gradually religion in terms of political expression.Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page 23
  24. 24. Chapter Eight: RecommendationsChapter eight will set out the FDA’s recommendations on how Lebanon can improve its electoralfairness score and thereby its electoral fairness. 1) Lebanon’s Supervisory Committee needs to set up guidelines to monitor the impartiality of the media and broadcasters. Also, an independent, non-partisan Lebanese committee needs to create laws to enforce the impartiality of the private media and broadcasters. 2) Lebanon’s electoral finance laws need to be reformed so that candidate registration fees are replaced with member support equivalent to 5% of the total voting population of the district. 3) An independent, non-partisan Lebanese committee needs to create laws for an equal playing field in terms of candidate and party finances. Every registered candidate should have access to the same campaign funds. 4) Lebanese diaspora should not be allowed to give gifts and/or contributions to Lebanese political candidates and parties. 5) Lebanese voting locations should not be based on family origin. The voting locations should be based on place of residency during an election period. 6) The Lebanese political system needs to shift from a confessional system to a pluralistic system in which any party and candidate can participate regardless of belief. 7) The Lebanese government should commit resources to educating the Lebanese public in the principles of democracy, in order to encourage the shift from a confessional political system to a pluralistic system.The FDA believes that electoral fairness is at the heart of pure democracy. The more fairelectorally a country is, the more democratic the country will be.Therefore, the FDA believes that by improving electoral fairness, pure democracy in Lebanonwill be advanced which in turn will improve the status of Lebanese people as a whole.The FDA hopes that this report will improve electoral fairness in Lebanon and thereby the well-being of the Lebanese people as a whole.Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page 24
  25. 25. AppendixFDA Global Audit Results as of August 2, 2011: FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Results Laws and regulations on the equality of political content of the media and broadcasters before, during, and after an election <-- failing range | passing range --> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Russia Venezuela France Lebanon Azerbaijan Denmark Finland Sweden United States Canada Argentina Tunisia Yemen Bahrain Camerron Egypt Iran Libya Mexico SyriaFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page 25
  26. 26. FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Results Laws and regulations on the equality of candidate and political party influence before, during, and after an election <-- failing range | passing range --> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% France Venezuela Finland Lebanon Sweden United States Azerbaijan Argentina Denmark Russia Canada Mexico Bahrian Cameroon Egypt Iran Libya Syria Tunisia YemenFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page 26
  27. 27. FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Results Laws and regulations on the equality of electoral (campaign) finance <-- failing range | passing range --> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% France Venezuela Finland Argentina Denmark Lebanon Sweden Tunisia Azerbaijan Cameroon Canada Mexico United States Bahrain Egypt Iran Libya Russia Syria YemenFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page 27
  28. 28. FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Results Laws and regulations on the equality of voter influence before, during, and after an election <-- failing range | passing range --> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% France Venezuela Argentina Mexico Canada Denmark Finland United States Sweden Lebanon Russia Azerbaijan Bahrain Cameroon Egypt Iran Libya Syria Tunisia YemenFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page 28
  29. 29. FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Results Overall Electoral Fairness Audit Scores <--failing range|passing range --> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% France Venezuela Finland Lebanon Denmark Russia Sweden Argentina United States Canada Azerbaijan Mexico Tunisia Cameroon Yemen Bahrain Egypt Iran Libya SyriaFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page 29