Dear Secretary Blinken:
We write to urge that the Administration continues to call upon and work with Lebanese officials to ensure that parliamentary elections scheduled for May 15, 2022, are carried out on time, transparently and free of corruption. With dueling political and economic crises, the May parliamentary elections are the first opportunity the Lebanese people will have to cast their ballots since protests in the country began in 2019 after years of corruption and mismanagement.
We concur with Ambassador Dorothy Shea that in holding elections on time, there is "no wiggle room," and that the failure to do so should result in swift condemnation for those responsible in any delay. With this in mind, we strongly urge the Administration to:
Speak out against any entity or individual that instigates the corruption, disruption, postponement or cancellation of the May 15, 2022 parliamentary elections;
Work with relevant stakeholders to ensure a successful election monitoring operation is undertaken to ensure a free and fair election, which includes collaborating with stakeholders, qualified individuals, and organizations planning Lebanon's election monitoring effort;
Ensure that diaspora voting outside of Lebanon occurs on time, transparently, and votes are independently counted and reported in a manner consistent with current law;
Continue to support the Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces in maintaining security and stability ahead of, and during, elections; and,
Continue to support Lebanon's vibrant civil society in its pursuit of democracy, adherence to the rule of law, and the promotion and protection of human rights.
Thank you for your attention and action in helping Lebanon achieve a corruption-free government as well as free and fair May elections.