Lebanon’s first parliamentary elections since 2009 offered more competition and choice for voters, but turnout was relatively low, according to a statement released by Maja Kocijancic, the European Union’s spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

The European Union was invited to deploy an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM), which highlights the close and important partnership between the European Union and Lebanon. As noted by the observers, the May 6 elections were well conducted and generally peaceful, which is a clear sign of the maturity of the Lebanese democratic institutions and the aspirations of the Lebanese people to overcome the persisting fragilities to achieve a democratic and united country.

According to Kocijancic, the EU remains committed to further support Lebanon’s work in strengthening its electoral framework, especially on the basis of the recommendations by the EOM in its upcoming final report. Increasing women’s participation in politics will be an important element.

The convening of a new parliament and formation of a government will set the stage for the next phase of the country’s reform agenda, while addressing the challenges of the Syrian crisis and its tremendous impact on all aspects of Lebanese life.

The EU has pledged to continue to fulfil all the commitments made in the EU-Lebanon Partnership Priorities and the Compact as well as those made in recent weeks at the Rome, Paris and Brussels II conferences.