Yesterday’s municipal elections were an underwhelming democratic milestone for Beirut. By the end of a day of polling on Sunday, voter turnout stood at just 20% in the country’s capital.
In fact, the showing was so meagre that even the country’s ex Prime Minister failed to register his vote.
Saad Hariri, the leader of the Mustaqbal party, accidently placed his ballot for the municipal polls in a mayoral vote collection box – rendering his ballot void.
The vote in the wrong box.
Hariri backs the Beiruti List, a coalition of groups which made big wins in the Beirut election. That’s despite the mass protest and a popular campaign for political change which has swept the Lebanese capital over the last year.
Beirutis were quick to mock Hariri’s gaffe on Twitter.
ال-لول، مغلط بالبخش يا شخسعد pic.twitter.com/iHoE6Z38Zm— Abir Ghattas (@AbirGhattas) 8 May 2016
Image: Al Hariri’s vote to be considered void for inserting his vote paper in the wrong box
Tweet: You inserted it in the wrong hole Sheikh Saad lol
#سعد_الحريري من صيدا، ساكن بالسعودية، بيجي سياحة على لبنان مرة بالسنة، و بينتخب ببيروت!!— AbuTarraf (@AMahdiAbutarraf) 8 May 2016
أنا رايح انتخب بامريكا اوك
AL Hariri is from Saida, he lives in KSA, he comes to Lebanon as a tourist once a year and votes in Beirut. According to this formula I'll be voting in USA.
طب عنجد ولو ما اسقلكن ..انه اتخيلوا ما في #سعد_الحريري عمين كنا بدنا نضحك؟!— RaniaYazbek (@raniayazbek) 8 May 2016
If there’s no Hariri, who will we laugh at?
The municipal elections were the first in six years. Elsewhere in the country more people deigned to show up to polling stations, with turnout reaching 62% in Baalbeck and 43.5% in Rashaya.
Hariri has yet to comment on his missing vote – though commenting on the party's win he told supporters "this is for Beirutis".
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