Arslan Calls for Constitutional Amendment, Says Proportionality Guarantees Political Stability

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Lebanese Democratic Party leader Talal Arslan called on Sunday for the amendment of the Constitution after saying that the Taef Accord collapsed following the withdrawal of the Syrian “guardian.”

Since the adoption of the Taef agreement in 1989, Lebanon has been witnessing a "political system crisis," Arslan told An Nahar newspaper in an interview.

“A state or strong constitutional institutions can't be based on such a system,” he said.

“When the constitution was adopted in Taef, it needed a guardian which is Syria. But there is no longer a guardian after the Syrian pullout” in 2005, he said.

Asked whether he called for a constitutional amendment, the Druze leader said: “Of course and I call for state building.”

“We are currently in a semi-state where the militias, clergymen and parties are stronger than the state,” he added.

On the dispute over an electoral-law, Arslan told his interviewer that the 1960 winner-takes-all law encourages sectarianism and leads to strife.

He said a proportional representation system is the best guarantor for political stability.

“There would be larger districts in proportionality and no room for sects to control the results” of the elections that are due to be held in 2013, he said.

The cabinet approved in August a draft-law that divides Lebanon into 13 electoral districts based on proportional representation but the bill was rejected by the majority of opposition blocs.

Parliament failed to discuss the bill and other electoral draft-laws after Lebanon plunged in a political crisis following the opposition March 14 alliance's blame of the government for the assassination of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau chief Wissam al-Hasan.

March 14 boycotted all parliamentary activity and refused to participate in the national dialogue called for by President Michel Suleiman.

Despite the president's insistence to bring bickering parties together, Arslan said the all-party talks can no longer resolve the country's crisis given that each side is backed by foreign parties.

Comments 10
Missing chouf3 02 December 2012, 10:25

Hey Talal let Walid do the talking .

Thumb geha 02 December 2012, 12:41

but this is not what they want. they want an electoral law that will let them win :)

Thumb geha 02 December 2012, 14:34

I agree on that one, but they will not let it pass.
my comment is about what arslan is saying, and what hizbushaitan wants.
as this stage of things, it is safe to say that neither m8 nor m14 proposed electoral laws can pass, this is why they are asking to change the constitution. they want to officially distribute the power over 3, i.e. 1/3 shia, 1/3 sunnis, 1/3 Christians.
this is their ultimate goal. taef accord is not acceptable for them if they are not in control.
thus, this will create a very bloody civil war.

Thumb whyaskwhy 02 December 2012, 14:42

who is this guy? he looks vaguely familliar but not quite sure what stone was turned to have him surface again?

Missing thatisit 02 December 2012, 15:33

talal is a nice guy with about 200 followers and he is a friend with bashar and hassan. it is just talk for another day -lebanosn has so many problems and issues that talking about an electoral law is just to overshadow so many problems that the country is and will be facing from now till eternity

Missing helicopter 02 December 2012, 16:48

Talal and Franjieh are not barking as much as they used to in the past. Their protector got weak and suddenly they shrank to their normal size. I forgot where is the third guy Wahhab, and Qanso .... oh my God so many are just disappearing from the media. They must be busy looking for another protege and a new source of income. They figured if they lurk in the background long enough for the people to forget what they stand for they might be able to re-emerge as whatever believing in whatever.

Missing beirutbastard00 02 December 2012, 17:21

Arsalan just want to guarantee a seat. In the current system joumblatt decides if he wants to allow him in or not.

Having said that, def the taef has to change, this is retarded, the war didn't end, maybe it worked for the 90's but now it's outdated. It's time to build a state.

Thumb shab 02 December 2012, 17:36

Syrian “guardian.” Joke of the year

Thumb benzona 02 December 2012, 17:43

Democracly has reached its threshold. What's next? I'm not talking about Lebanon only, but pretty much worldwide. People are lead by people who don't represent them. And what ALL Lebanese factions do is called "clientélisme" which is a form of corruption.

In my personal opinion a country should be managed like a business and what a former Sony CEO once said "think global, act local" and the power (understand the money) shouldn't be centralized anymore but given to the municipalities.

Thumb benzona 03 December 2012, 01:52

LoL almost then years ago I once bumped into president Lahood near Tripoli at a beach resort called Las Salinas or something like that. It was 8 am and he was there swimming in the pool all by himself. That's the for the story.... I guess he was a healthy person although totally corrupt.