Aoun Restates Orthodox Law Support: We Will Veto Any Proposal that Does not Assure Equality

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun restated on Tuesday his support for the Orthodox Gathering's electoral draft law, saying that he will veto any proposal that does not assure equality between Christians and Muslims.

"There is a Muslim domination over the Christian vote,” Aoun stated in an interview with OTV, adding that the Taif accord has granted Christians 64 deputies but they “never really elected their own lawmakers”.

"The executive authority is in the hand of Sunnis while the legislative authority is controlled by Shiites. Where do Christians have an impact?” he remarked.

The FPM leader said that there is a true elimination of Christians as "425,000 of them do not elect their own MPs or are not even represented”.

Responding to the critiques directed towards the Orthodox draft law, Aoun rejected describing it as unconstitutional, explaining that the Lebanese law itself divides the parliamentary seats on a sectarian basis.

"Only after he is elected a lawmaker becomes a representative of the entire nation,” he noted.

Aoun said: "As long as the situation in Lebanon is as it is we will not give up this law and if they want a civil state, we will form a board after the elections that would look into the type of regime we want”.

Commenting on March 14's Independent Christian leaders' opposition to this law, the FPM leader said: “They are nobodies and we will not give up just representation for them”.

Aoun addressed Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat, saying that he only rejects the Orthodox proposal because it does not suit his interests.

"Why demand the elimination of sectarianism in the electoral law while we do not even have unity in other fields like education?” Aoun asked.

“The proposal that divides Lebanon into 50 electoral districts did not pass in the parliamentary committees' talks while 6 out of 8 blocs supported the Orthodox law,” he said.

The Christian four-party committee on the electoral law had agreed to endorse the electoral system proposed by the so-called Orthodox Gathering, under which each sect would elect its own lawmakers.

But the proposal was criticized by President Michel Suleiman, Premier Najib Miqati, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat, al-Mustaqbal Movement, Independent Christians in March 14 and several other figures.

Discussing the situation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Aoun said: “Lebanon cannot handle this flow of refugees and it has become an alarming problem of overpopulation”.

"We have told (Prime Minister Najib) Miqati that he cannot disassociate himself or the cabinet from counting the number of refugees and from deploying security forces on the border,” Aoun noted.

"Assad's regime will not fall and they will end up communicating and holding national dialogue to find a solution for the current situation,” he said.

According to the latest report issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 200,000 Syrian refugees have fled the bloody conflict in their home country for Lebanon since the eruption of the neighboring country's war.

The government has been distancing itself from the uprising in Syria which started as peaceful demonstrations against President Bashar Assad's regime but turned into a bloody crackdown that has so far led to 60,000 deaths.

Source: Naharnet

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