BEIRUT (AFP) – Polling got under way Sunday across Lebanon, where voters electing their parliament for the first time in nine years are expected to return the same ruling parties, AFP correspondents reported.
Polling stations opened at 7:00 am across the small country, which has an electorate of around 3.7 million, and were due to close 12 hours later. Results from all 15 districts are expected on Monday.
Turnout will be crucial to a new civil society movement s chances of clinching a handful of seats but analysts all predict the traditional sectarian-based parties will maintain their hegemony.
Queues of voters formed outside some polling stations in the capital Beirut even before polling stations opened.
At least 20,000 police officers were deployed nationwide to secure voting operations in 1,880 polling stations, according to the interior ministry.
Weeks of campaigning passed without major security incidents across a country threatened by spillover from the conflict in neighbouring Syria.