Berri Exerting Efforts with All Sides to Reach Agreement on Electoral Law

Speaker Nabih Berri is seeking to ease the differences between the various Lebanese powers over the new parliamentary electoral law, reported An Nahar daily on Monday.

Information obtained by the daily revealed that the speaker, through Hizbullah's backing, had held separate talks with Mustaqbal bloc head MP Fouad Saniora, National Struggle Front ministers, and Phalange Party MP Sami Gemayel to that end.

He is set to hold talks with Lebanese Democratic Party head MP Talal Arslan and Lebanese Forces MP Antoine Zahra in separate meetings later this week.

He is also set to meet with representatives from the Free Patriotic Movement.

The speaker is seeking to reach an agreement on a new electoral law that appeases all sides and does not eliminate any of them, reported An Nahar.

It noted that through his efforts, Berri had eliminate the need to form a subcommittee to tackle the electoral law.

The subcommittee was set to be formed on Thursday during a meeting for the joint parliamentary committees.

Mustaqbal sources meanwhile told the daily that the movement would agree to any electoral law that caters to the concerns of all sides.

Meanwhile, Loyalty to the Resistance bloc Minister Hussein al-Hajj Hassan stated on Sunday that the 1960 electoral law and one based on 50 electoral districts do not grant fair representation.

“The adoption of Lebanon as one district based on proportionality will offer the best representation,” he noted.

“We advocated the adoption of 13 districts based on proportionality because of the inability to adopt one district at the moment,” he explained.

Also on Sunday, Loyalty to the Resistance bloc Minister Mohammed Fneish declared that proportionality ensures fair representation and guarantees diversity in Lebanon.

“We are hoping that for once, an electoral law that rectifies the flaws in our political system would be adopted,” he stressed.

In August, the government approved an electoral draft law based on proportional representation and 13 districts.

The law was rejected by the opposition and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea had recently voiced his support for the adoption of an electoral law based on 50 districts, saying it provides the fairest representation.

Opposition MPs Adwan, Gemayel and Butros Harb proposed an electoral law based on 50 small-sized districts in a winner-takes-all system, while a plan suggested by MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc would allow every sect to elect its own MPs under a proportional representation system with Lebanon as a single district.

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