Lebanese expats in Mideast vote in parliamentary elections

Lebanese expats are casting ballots in six Arab countries in the region, ahead of parliamentary elections due in Lebanon on May 6.

The voting abroad marks the first time that expats are allowed to participate in parliamentary elections.

The voting on Friday is being held in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt.

It will be followed by voting Sunday for Lebanese residing in the Americas, Europe, Australia and Africa.

Lebanon's state-run news agency says the number of registered voters is 82,970.

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil tweeted that he was "very proud" to witness the first expat voting in the history of the Lebanese republic.

Lebanon is to hold its first parliamentary elections in nine years next month after parliament postponed elections several times over security reasons.