Le Pen flops in Lebanon as Macron secures four in five French expatriate votes

Le Pen flops in Lebanon as Macron secures four in five French expatriate votes
Marine Le Pen made a poor showing among French expatriate voters in Lebanon last week, winning less than 21 percent of the vote in presidential elections.
2 min read
26 April, 2022
French voters headed to their consulate in Beirut and polling stations in other cities in Lebanon [Getty- archive]

A large majority of people who took part in the French presidential election last week in Lebanon voted for Emmanuel Macron, his campaign manager in Lebanon said on Monday.

Danny Othman said that the voter turnout reached 41.24 percent, and that 5,942 people who turned up to the election voted for Macron, equivalent to a total of 79 percent.

By contrast, right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen won a relatively small share of votes in Lebanon, as compared to 41.5 percent in the French presidential poll overall.

French voters in Lebanon – who include citizens with single or dual nationality– were invited to cast their ballots at five polling stations across the country, including at the French consulate in Beirut, as well as in the cities of Jounieh, Tripoli and Sidon.

Othman said that there was a total 18,510 French voters in Lebanon.

Macron won re-election on Sunday, convincingly defeating his rival and prompting a wave of relief in Europe that the far-right had been kept out of power.

He is the first French president to win a second term for two decades.

It was not clear what percentage of votes Le Pen received in Lebanon. 

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Macron was heavily involved in Lebanese affairs in the past two years especially. He made two visits to Beirut in 2020, one of them only days after the deadly August 4 explosion at the Beirut Port.

He visited again on September 1, commemorating one hundred years since the establishment of Greater Lebanon by France, which governed the country for just over two decades.

Paris has continuously pushed for reforms in crisis-stricken Lebanon, calling on rival factions to come to an agreement that can help lift the country out of its unprecedented economic meltdown.

Some people in Lebanon however have voiced strong opposition to Macron’s efforts, saying his initiative to give Lebanese politicians time to negotiate agreements and study solutions only prolongs their stay in power and gives them the much-needed international legitimacy they want.

In February, the Lebanese government awarded France's CMA CGM a contract for the management, operation and maintenance of the container terminal in the port of Beirut for 10 years.

The deal was considered by some to be an example of how Macron has continued to support the political class in return for economic opportunities, amid fierce rivalry in the Mediterranean with countries like Turkey.

In her presidential campaign, Le Pen had urged for stronger bilateral, rather than multilateral ties with countries such as Lebanon, which she visited in 2017.