Naharnet

Electoral Laws Proposed by Berri, Miqati Return to Forefront

The hybrid electoral law proposed by Speaker Nabih Berri and the proportional representation system proposed by Najib Miqati's government appear to have returned to the forefront of political discussions, a media report said on Tuesday.

Berri's proposal resurfaced after the Speaker's recent meetings in Ain el-Tineh with Lebanese Forces deputy head MP George Adwan, Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq and a representative of Druze leader MP Walid Jumblat, al-Akhbar newspaper reported, adding that the conferees discussed “some amendments.”

The proportional representation proposal that divides Lebanon into 13 or 15 districts has also returned to the front burner, the daily said. The suggestion had been devised by Miqati's government more than three years ago before being endorsed by the main Christian forces in a Bkirki meeting.

The developments come after a hybrid, two-round electoral system proposed by Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil was rejected by both allies and rivals of the FPM.

Bassil's proposal had been initially rejected by Jumblat and the LF, and on Tuesday MP Ammar Houri of al-Mustaqbal bloc said “Bassil's suggestion with its sectarian voting round cannot pass and it is distant from the spirit of the Taef Accord and the constitution.”

Bassil's format prevents voters from voting for candidates from other sects in the first round and divides Lebanon into 26 districts. The second round involves a non-sectarian proportional representation system and 10 larger districts.

Berri's proposal meanwhile calls for the election of 64 MPs under the winner-takes-all system and 64 others under proportional representation whereas Miqati's suggestion involves full proportional representation in 13 or 15 districts.


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