Premier Denies Resignation Reports, Says Cabinet Committed to its Electoral Draft-Law

Prime Minister Najib Miqati denied on Monday reports saying that he resigned from his post as a premier, stressing that he is committed to the electoral draft-law proposed by his cabinet.

“We heard the news and laughed at it,” Miqati told reporters after a ministerial committee session at the Grand Serail.

Asked about the new electoral law, the premier defended the draft-law proposed by his cabinet.

“The cabinet isn't divided over the matter,” Miqati stressed.

Last year the government referred an electoral draft-law to the parliament based on proportional representation and divides Lebanon to 13 districts.

He pointed out that he rejects the adoption of the 1960s law, which is based on winners-take-all system “as it is the reason behind all the disputes in the country.”

However, Miqati stated that there are “constitutional time frame” that the cabinet must abide by.

“We will carry out our duties completely,” he added.

The rival members of the electoral subcommittee failed on Saturday to reach common ground over a hybrid electoral law that gathers the winners-take-all system and the proportional representation, prompting Speaker Nabih Berri to call for a session for the joint parliamentary committees.

Asked about reports that Hizbullah was involved in battles in the border town of Qusayr, Miqati expressed hope that all parties abide by the Baabda Palace Declaration.

The opposition Syrian National Council said Hizbullah fighters crossed into Homs province of central Syria on Saturday and attacked three Syrian villages in the Qusayr region.

A Hizbullah official said three Lebanese Shiites were killed in clashes in Syria while acting in "self-defense,” without specifying if they were party members.

The Baabda Declaration, which was agreed on by the March 8 and 14 coalitions during a national dialogue session in July, states on disassociating Lebanon from the international and regional developments and safeguarding it from any negative repercussions.

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