Lebanese abroad cast votes in key parliamentary election

Lebanese expatriates in 48 countries including France and the United Arab Emirates have begun casting their ballots ahead of the May 15 parliamentary elections, state media reports.

The critical election comes amid an unprecedented financial crisis that has spurred a mass population exodus, with opposition figures pinning their hopes for a change on the diaspora vote and experts saying the political status quo is expected to remain.

The vote is the first since the onset of the economic crisis in 2019 and the devastating Beirut port explosion a year later, with many accusing the political elite of rampant corruption and mismanagement.

More than 194,000 people in 48 countries are registered to vote, according to the official National News Agency.

Turnout rates in Australia, where polls have closed, reached 55 percent, according to the foreign ministry.

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