Gemayel: Lebanon to Witness a Crisis after February 21

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Kataeb Party leader MP Sami Gemayel stressed from the Grand Serail on Thursday, that Lebanon faces unfavorable options if political parties fail to agree on a new electoral law for the upcoming parliamentary polls before the deadline on February 21 to call the electorate bodies.

“If a new electoral law is not agreed before Feb. 21 it would mean that we are heading towards bad options,” said Gemayel, noting that shall elections be staged based on the controversial 1960 law it would call for an automated extension of the parliament term.

After a meeting he held with Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Gemayel added: “We still have a few days that separate us from a very important phase. Afterwards, Lebanon's democratic regime will be subject to enormous problems.

“We are facing a new problem that will start on Feb. 21,” he added and urged the government to shoulder the responsibility and submit a draft law to the parliament.

Political parties are bickering over amending the current 1960 majoritarian election law which divides seats among the different religious sects.

While al-Mustaqbal Movement has rejected that the electoral law be fully based on proportional representation, arguing that Hizbullah's arms would prevent serious competition in the party's strongholds, MP Walid Jumblat has totally rejected proportional representation, even within a hybrid law, warning it would “marginalize” his minority Druze community.

Hizbullah, Mustaqbal, Berri's AMAL Movement, the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces have discussed several formats of a so-called hybrid law.

The country has not organized parliamentary elections since 2009 and the legislature has instead twice extended its own mandate. The last polls were held under an amended version of the 1960 electoral law and the next vote is scheduled for May.

Comments 1
Thumb barrymore 16 February 2017, 15:41

There is an existing election law. If you the political class do not like it, then go to parliament and debate/vote one to your liking. Absent that, the existing law holds and there is no crisis. The only crisis is the one that will be created by the illegal inhabitant of Baabda.