Shorter Urges 'Technical Reforms, Women's Quota' in Upcoming Elections


British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter on Wednesday called for “technical reforms” and a women's quota in the country's next parliamentary elections.

“This was my first meeting with Speaker (Nabih) Berri since the confirmation of the new Cabinet and Prime Minister. It was an excellent opportunity to discuss the political momentum in the country and the hopes that this government can deliver reforms which will boost the economy and provide tangible benefits for the Lebanese people,” Shorter said after the talks in Ain el-Tineh.

“Parliament has a key role to play, both in scrutinizing and enabling these reforms, and I welcome its reactivation following the election of the President and appointment of the Prime Minister,” he added.

Shorter and Berri also discussed the upcoming, “long awaited,” parliamentary elections.

“Whichever law they are held under, I hope that key technical reforms such as pre-printed ballot papers will be implemented to ensure modern, transparent elections,” the ambassador said.

“I also hope to see concrete measures to increase women’s participation in parliament, and I welcome Speaker Berri’s calls for a women’s quota in this regard. But I should stress that this does not apply to parliament alone, and I hope and expect that we will see more women in the next cabinet too,” the ambassador added.

He also stressed that the UK stands ready to work with the government and parliament of Lebanon to continue delivering “much-needed assistance which has already benefited Lebanese up and down the country.”

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