Naharnet

Al-Rahi Says 'Shameful' to Ignore Fundamental National Causes

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi criticized on Sunday Lebanese politicians for failing to agree on fateful issues such as a new electoral draft-law ahead of the polls next year.

“It's a shame … that political parties have suspended (attempts to find) solutions to fundamental national causes such as a new electoral draft-law other than the 1960 law, the formation of a new cabinet and holding elections on time,” al-Rahi said in his sermon.

The parliament has yet to agree on a draft-electoral law. Deep divisions between the March 8 parliamentary majority and the March 14 opposition alliance have prevented both camps to draft a law or amend a bill approved by the government in August which divides Lebanon into 13 districts and is based on proportionality.

Al-Rahi has totally rejected the 1960 law, which adopts the qada as an electoral district and is based on a winner-takes-all system. It was used in the 2009 parliamentary elections after a partial amendment.

A dissociation policy announced by President Michel Suleiman means the respect of the sovereignty of other nations and noninterference in their local affairs with the support of certain parties, the patriarch said.

“This is rejected because it only brings evil, crises and divisions to Lebanon,” al-Rahi stressed.


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