UN envoy to Lebanon praises prevailing calm ahead of municipal polls

15 April 2010The top United Nations envoy to Lebanon today met with another Government minister and welcomed the prevailing peaceful atmosphere in the country, saying it was crucial that calm be maintained during municipal elections next month. “I trust and very much hope that this [calm] will also contribute to ensuring that the elections themselves are held in a free and fair manner,” said Michael Williams, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, when he met Interior Minister Ziad Baroud in Beirut.Mr. Williams said Mr. Baroud had told him that all preparations are now fully under way to ensure successful elections.The four rounds of the 2010 municipal elections are scheduled to be held every Sunday in May starting in Beirut, followed by the Bekaa region, then south Lebanon and finally in north Lebanon, according to media reports.All Lebanese political sides on 9 March pledged to maintain a calm atmosphere during the polls.