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Plumbly Meets al-Rahi, Hopes Elections Will Be Held on Time

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly welcomed on Friday the resumption of active discussions on the electoral law, praising Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi's support for this political process.

He hoped after holding talks at Bkirki with the patriarch that the discussions would be a success, while highlighting “the importance of holding the elections on time in line with Lebanon’s constitutional requirements.”

“It is important that Lebanon remain a model for democracy and for a genuine and vital political life in the region,” he stressed.

Talks between the two officials also addressed the case of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, with Plumbly saying: “It is an issue of the highest priority for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who will be attending and chairing a meeting in that regard with donor countries in Kuwait at the end of this month.”

Discussions with al-Rahi also addressed the situation of Christian communities in the Middle East.

“I underlined the important role the Christians play and the need to protect the rich diversity and coexistence that characterizes Lebanon in particular,” said the U.N. official.

The electoral subcommittee aimed at discussing parliamentary electoral draft laws resumed its meetings last week.

An agreement was reached among its members to hold consultations on a draft law that combines the winner-takes-all and proportional representation systems ahead of resuming sessions on Monday.

Disputes had arisen between various political factions in Lebanon over the electoral draft law, with a Christian four-party committee, comprised of the Phalange Party, Free Patriotic Movement, Marada Movement, and Lebanese Forces, advocating the Orthodox Gathering proposal.

The proposal was rejected by President Michel Suleiman, Premier Najib Miqati, Mustaqbal Movement, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat, and independent MPs of the March 14 camp.

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