March 14 MPs Call for Activation of Electoral Subcommittee in Absence of Cabinet

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Several opposition lawmakers gave their consent on Monday to the activation of a parliamentary subcommittee to discuss an electoral draft-law on condition that no government representative attends the talks.

Following a meeting held by the opposition's parliamentary committee heads, rapporteurs and members of parliament's bureau at MP Butros Harb's residence for the second time in 12 days, the MPs said they were willing to attend the meeting of the subcommittee to agree on a new electoral draft-law but stuck onto their demand for the nonattendance of government representatives.

The subcommittee was established in October to facilitate discussions among the rival March 8 and March 14 camps on the controversial articles of a bill approved by the cabinet in August - the electoral system and the size of the districts.

The subcommittee, which is headed by Deputy Speaker Farid Makari, includes opposition lawmakers Sami Gemayel, George Adwan, Ahmed Fatfat and Serge Torsarkissian.

Its members from the March 8 majority coalition are MPs Alain Aoun, Ali Bazzi, Ali Fayyad, Hagop Pakradounian in addition to lawmaker Akram Shehayyeb, who belongs to the National Struggle Front of centrist lawmaker Walid Jumblat.

The statement of the opposition MPs that was read by Harb held onto the boycott of Prime Minister Najib Miqati's government and called for the formation of a new cabinet.

Lebanon plunged in a political crisis in October after the March 14 alliance blamed the government for the assassination of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau chief Wissam al-Hasan.

Following al-Hasan's murder in a car bomb blast in Beirut's Ashrafiyeh district, the opposition boycotted all parliamentary activity and called for the formation of a salvation cabinet to oversee the parliamentary polls in 2013.

Media reports said last week that the March 14 MPs of the electoral subcommittee were willing to attend the meeting on condition that it is held at the house of one of the opposition lawmakers.

But their demands reached a dead-end when several March 8 majority alliance leaders rejected it.

While Harb did not mention that specific condition during Monday's press conference, it was the first time that the opposition lawmakers were officially announcing their willingness to attend the meeting of the subcommittee.

He said the conferees decided to continue consultations with Speaker Nabih Berri in that regard, less than a week after a March 14 delegation visited him to discuss the issue.

Comments 3
Missing allouchi 10 December 2012, 14:27

Good move M14...

Thumb habib 10 December 2012, 14:38

E wlash la shtem3o wethelafo ma3berri sho bi fid 14 ok lmohem yestafed sha3eb etf2o ma3walid bayek wma3 lestez wbet shaklo aktariyi wa yamor lanun yalli btetf2o 3lay elmohem enun ye3ti la aoun hajmo lmazbot kom neyeb heda hajmo heda eza akhad aswat gayer lmokarabi la tayar wa hezbesila7

Default-user-icon Salompas Sohott (Guest) 11 December 2012, 08:18

March 14, my compatriots, March 14 only needs to clap. There is no need to call at all. Aren't they the center of the universe and around which everything rotates and all revolutions revolutionize and talabatkon awemer? Good move says allouchti! But then all of March 14's moves are great moves, and it goes without saying. If only the timings of those moves were good, too! But hey, allouchti probably does not care much about timing because even if timing is wrong the important thing is the thought or the idea of the move while timing is just a game of luck. You go, March 14 warriors. Keep moving, and good luck, as always.