Bassil Rejects 1960 Electoral Law and Extension, Slams 'Two-Faced Rhetoric'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil on Tuesday rejected the proposed re-endorsement of the 1960 electoral law, describing it as a veiled extension of parliament's term, as he accused some political parties of having a “two-faced rhetoric” on the electoral law.
“The 1960 law is another face of extension and we don't want it, and there will be no vacuum because the constitution prevents vacuum,” said Bassil after the weekly meeting of the Change and Reform bloc, hitting back at parties who have said that extension is necessary to prevent a so-called parliamentary vacuum.
“The proposed extension is like a gun pointed to our heads,” Bassil said.
“We are not clinging to any electoral law... We are seeking respect for the National Pact and correct representation,” he added, referring to the representation of Christians in the political system.
“Whenever we agree on an electoral law, we face two rhetorics: one for the negotiations room and another for the media. Today there is a media campaign to bin the 'qualification electoral system',” the FPM chief said, noting that some parties had agreed to the latest electoral format he proposed during closed-door talks before eventually rejecting it in public statements.
Bassil also noted that there is no agreement on one version of the proportional representation system although several parties have voiced support for the principle of proportional representation.
“We are facing a historic moment and we only have a few days in order not to lose two possibilities: the possibility of correcting representation, which has been flawed since 1990, and the possibility of establishing a civil state with the necessary legal amendments,” Bassil added.
Some parties have dismissed Bassil's latest electoral law format, which involves sectarian voting in the first round, as divisive and counterproductive.
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, Druze leader MP Walid Jumblat and other parties have meanwhile noted that the controversial 1960 electoral law remains in effect should the parties fail to agree on an electoral law.