EU poll observers start Lebanon mission

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The European Union’s Elections Observation Mission kicked off in Lebanon Monday as 26 observers were deployed to various parts of the country.

“Our election observation mission will be made up of 100 observers. Already 26 long-term monitors were deployed this morning across the country,” Mission Chief Jose Ignacio Salafranca of Spain told reporters.   
The observers were dispatched to Lebanon as a result of an agreement between the EU and Lebanese government.

“We are a neutral and independent mission,” Salafranca said. “Our mandate will be to observe and make recommendations. The mission will release its findings in a report after the elections.” 
Salafranca said the team’s presence in Lebanon “will be crucial to guarantee more transparency and free elections.” 
Lebanon’s general elections begin Sunday May 29 and will continue through June 19.