Top March 8 Parties 'Totally Reject' 1960 Electoral Law

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The top three parties of the March 8 majority alliance have “totally rejected” holding the parliamentary polls next year based on the winner-takes-all system of the 1960 electoral law, As Safir daily reported on Monday.

The newspaper quoted sources as saying that a meeting was held between the Hizbullah leader's aide, Hussein Khalil, the assistant of Speaker Nabih Berri, Ali Hassan Khalil, Minister Jebran Bassil, who is a member of the Free Patriotic Movement, and Amal movement's security official Ahmed al-Baalbaki.

The sources said the conferees “totally rejected” the 1960 law and “expressed openness to discuss amendments to a bill approved by the government” in August that calls for dividing Lebanon into 13 electoral districts based on proportional representation.

The bill was rejected by the March 14 opposition alliance's parliamentary blocs and the National Struggle Front bloc of MP Walid Jumblat, who is a centrist.

The representatives of Hizbullah and Amal also expressed readiness to accept electoral proposals that the Christians factions agree on, As Safir's sources said.

The 1960 law, which adopts the qada as an electoral district, was used in the 2009 parliamentary elections.

Several officials, including Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, have said that the law should be adopted for the 2013 polls if the parliament failed to agree on a new electoral law.

But the legislature has so far been unable to reach any agreement, and lack of consensus following the political crisis that erupted after the assassination of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Branch chief in October is also a sign that the lawmakers would fail to draft a law before the June elections.

Following al-Hasan's assassination, the March 14 MPs boycotted parliamentary activity but later announced their willingness to participate in a meeting of a legislative sub-committee set to draft an electoral law on condition that the talks are held at the house of one of its opposition lawmakers.

March 14 MP Marwan Hamadeh told Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) on Monday that the opposition lawmakers are set to meet with Speaker Nabih Berri to find an alternative to the condition set by them after the objection of several March 8 officials.

Comments 8
Thumb lebnanfirst 10 December 2012, 08:40

Lame excuse aimed at torpedoing the 2013 election especially by Aoun who now realizes just how badly he is loosing Christian voters.

M14 agreed to re-engage only the elections parliamentary committee in order to facilitate a new law. But whatever the end result of this election law debate, if no new law is agreed elections MUST proceed based on whatever existing law. Respect for constitutional mandates is at the core of democracies.

Thumb mckinl 10 December 2012, 09:32

March 14 has a simple solution to the boycott. Use the 1/3 rule to disband parliament and hold new elections right now ...

Instead they refuse to attend parliament and hold the country hostage while using profane accusations to destabilize Lebanon.

Missing samiam 10 December 2012, 09:50

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Berri held parliament hostage for 2 years because he wouldn't even bring them to session. So, not going because you are boycotting or not going because the speaker refuses to hold sessions is the same result--no parliament.

Thumb mouallek 10 December 2012, 11:10

It seems that you are also quite comfortable in your stupidity.

Thumb lebnanfirst 10 December 2012, 16:44

Oh and your comments are full of love, eh? Everyone remembers your love filled comment that suggested that M14ers be dissolved in acid and some such.

You are the last person that should be dishing out advise about none hate since all your comments are hateful.

Default-user-icon A lebanese abroad (Guest) 10 December 2012, 09:22

Again March 8 opposing and rejecting the idea that whoever wins the election takes over the ruling system! This is how democratic countries function. Lebanon will always remain 3rd world, corrupt and primitive as long as we have hezbollah. They are lebanon's cancer and the only setback from development. Lebanese should realize how dangerous and counterproductive this party is!

Thumb mouallek 10 December 2012, 11:12

Your master's voice !

Missing samiam 10 December 2012, 12:51

Actually, the biggest threat facing Lebanon is coming from the lack of power from a central government. Give more strength to the central government, improve governance, and then you will eliminate the threats especially from outside groups, and that includes Iran which you ALWAYS fail to mention.

Look around the world and find a government which has armed militias which are stronger than the central, and then you will find a government that is failing--look at Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, DR Congo, and a few more countries in Africa. This is the truth which you want to overlook.