Charbel Says Not all Lebanese will Accept Orthodox Gathering Proposal

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel stressed on Tuesday that not all the Lebanese factions would approve the Maronite leaders’ decision to back a proposal by the Orthodox Gathering to allow each sect to choose its own representatives during the 2013 parliamentary elections.

In remarks to Voice of Lebanon radio station (93.3), Charbel said that his proposed draft law on proportional representation should be discussed because it has come based on a recommendation from the cabinet and its ministerial statement.

“Not all Lebanese will approve the proposal” of the Maronite leaders, he said.

Charbel was referring to the unanimous endorsement of the Orthodox Gathering’s proposal during a meeting held in Bkirki by bickering Maronite politicians Phalange party chief Amin Gemayel, Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea, and the head of the Marada movement, Suleiman Franjieh.

“In case agreement hasn’t been reached on a draft law, there is another suggestion for a law of holding parliamentary elections in two rounds,” the interior minister told VDL.

“What’s important is to reach an agreement on a law because the old law doesn’t give Christians their rights,” he stressed.

On Sunday, Charbel said the Gathering’s proposal isolates Christians from Muslims.

He said the second suggestion on the electoral law calls for allowing each sect to elect its MPs in the first round while paving way for all electorates to participate in the second round according to the results of the first.

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