Naharnet

Parliament to Approve Urgent Draft-Law on Extension of Electoral Deadlines

Parliament will most likely approve an urgent draft-law on Tuesday to amend the deadlines for the submission of candidacies to the legislative elections without canceling them.

Speaker Nabih Berri called for the parliamentary session at 10:30 am Tuesday.

MP Marwan Hamadeh, who is a member of parliament's bureau that met on Monday to agree on the parliamentary session, told An Nahar newspaper that controversial vote laws will not be on the agenda.

“We will work to extend the deadline for the announcement of candidacies and limit parliamentary campaigns to one month rather than two pending agreement on a consensual draft-law,” Hamadeh said.

“We will seek to find a solution so that the public opinion is not surprised after a few days by the announcement of uncontested winners,” he added.

Deputy Speaker Farid Makari said after the meeting of parliament's bureau that several formulas on the extension of the deadlines for the parliamentary elections were studied.

“We decided to meet again before Tuesday's parliamentary session to agree on a final formula,” he told reporters after the meeting held under Berri in Ain el-Tineh.

According to An Nahar, the interior ministry has suggested a three-month suspension of the deadlines after which the elections should take place.

During this timeframe, the rival parties would agree on a new law or strike a deal to resort to the 1960 law that was used in the 2009 elections.

As a first step, caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel has amended a decree - that calls for the submission of candidacies - from April 10 to 24, which allows parliament to find a solution to prevent the announcement of uncontested winners if no candidacies have been submitted for certain seats.

Lebanese Forces MP George Adwan confirmed that Tuesday's session will only discuss the amendment to the decree that Charbel referred to the prime minister's office.

In the decree, Charbel said that the elections cannot be held on time given the failure to form the authority that will oversee the elections and the lack of around $20 million of funds to organize the polls.

An Nahar said that most political parties have reached an understanding to postpone the elections for three months by holding them in September before the start of the academic year.


Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved. http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/78627