Change and Reform Ends Involvement with Members of Bkirki Committee on Electoral Lawإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Change and Reform bloc MP Alain Aoun announced on Wednesday that the bloc will no longer cooperate with the Lebanese Forces and Phalange Party at the Bkirki committee aimed at devising a new parliamentary electoral law.
He said during a press conference: “We are no longer concerned with any joint work with the members of the Bkirki committee on devising a new electoral law.”
Aoun said that the Bkirki committee had placed a priority on the Orthodox Gathering proposal on the electoral law and later a proposal on the adoption of small electoral districts and then one of proportional representation based on 15 medium-sized districts.
He noted that once the Orthodox Gathering proposal was rejected, talks shifted to the third suggestion on the adoption of 15 medium-sized districts, which was approved unanimously by all Bkirki committee members.
The MP revealed that discussions on small districts, amounting to 50, have not ended.
“It is worth noting that the LF and Phalange Party backed down from their commitment to the electoral law based on proportional representation after the Mustaqbal and Progressive Socialist Party voiced their opposition to it,” he added.
“We have no problem in working with people we enjoy political differences with, but we have a problem with people who lie to us,” he stressed in reference to the political powers.
“We will only return to the talks if Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi asks us to,” explained the MP.
“The LF and Phalange Party are entitled to back down from previous commitments, but they have to acknowledge it,” said Aoun.
He accused the two parties of “squandering an historic opportunity for Christians to improve their representation at parliament.”
He noted that the government proposal on the electoral law only requires the vote of 65 lawmakers at parliament and the government forces so far have the vote of 61 MPs.
The cabinet approved in August a draft-law that divides the country into 13 medium-sized districts based on proportional representation.
The Mustaqbal bloc and PSP, headed by MP Walid Jumblat, objected to the proposal.
LF leader Samir Geagea noted on Tuesday that the adoption of small electoral districts in a parliamentary electoral law will be more just for the Lebanese people, reported the Central News Agency.
He told the agency: “Contacts are underway with the Hizbullah and AMAL leaderships over the small districts.”
“If it is determined that the least amount of blocs are in agreement over the small districts, then the Free Patriotic Movement will have to agree with it,” Geagea said.
The FPM is trying to contradict what was agreed upon among the members of the Bkirki committee, said Geagea.
The patriarch was aware of such an attempt and thwarted it and the result was an agreement over small electoral districts, he stated.
Al-Rahi meanwhile gave members of the Bkirki committee ten days to contact their leaderships and resolve their differences on an electoral draft-law proposal, An Nahar daily reported on Wednesday.
The 10-day deadline was the result of a dispute on Monday between the FPM on one side and the LF and the Phalange Party on the other.
The committee was meeting under al-Rahi when Phalange MP Sami Gemayel and LF lawmaker George Adwan criticized an electoral draft-law approved by the government, including ministers loyal to FPM chief Michel Aoun.
After a dispute between Gemayel and MP Alain Aoun, Adwan intervened by saying that members of the committee - that includes the four main Christian parties in Lebanon - had agreed on adopting small districts in a winner-takes-all system.
If that was not possible, then the second option would be to adopt proportionality, Adwan said.