March 14 Independent Christians Vow to Confront Attempts to Cancel Pollsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The March 14 opposition's independent Christian officials vowed on Tuesday to confront attempts to cancel this year's parliamentary elections and reiterated their call for the adoption of a draft-law that represents all Lebanese fairly.
“We will exert all efforts to confront the attempt to cancel or postpone the elections,” the officials said in a statement following a meeting they held at Batroun MP Butros Harb's residence in Hazmieh.
“We hold onto finding an alternative to the current electoral draft-law that guarantees a fair representation for all the factions including Christians,” the statement, read by Dr. Antoine Haddad from the Democratic Renewal Movement, said.
The officials vowed to “renew trust among the diverging parties … through a series of contacts and meetings they would hold following the return of President” Michel Suleiman from Russia.
“The dilemma lies in the impractical political stances … of some politicians who still do not care for pragmatic and constitutional considerations,” they said.
The head of the Independence Movement, Michel Moawad, told An Nahar newspaper published Tuesday that the independents want to reach solutions ahead of the parliamentary elections after MPs from the March 8 majority and March 14 alliances tasked with finding common ground on an electoral draft-law admitted to a wide gap between them.
Moawad mentioned several proposals, including a March 14 draft-law that calls for dividing Lebanon into 50 districts based on a winner-takes-all system.
He also said a proposal that combines the winner-takes-all and proportional representation systems would guarantee a true division of power between Christians and Muslims if it receives the support of all factions.
“The roadmap would be aimed at keeping contact with the centrists and the the March 14 parties,” Moawad said.
Two March 14 Christian parties – the Phalange and the Lebanese Forces – have announced their backing to the so-called Orthodox Gathering proposal that calls for considering Lebanon a single district and allowing each sect to vote for its own MPs based on a proportional representation system.
Their Christian rivals in the March 8 alliance - the Free Patriotic Movement and the Marada – are already staunch supporters of the proposal, which has been criticized by the opposition al-Mustaqbal movement, the Progressive Socialist Party of centrist MP Walid Jumblat and independent Christian personalities for widening sectarian differences among the Lebanese.
An Nahar quoted the sources of the independents as saying that the Orthodox proposal's negative aspects are much bigger than its advantages.
Monday's meeting “was aimed at rectifying the bases of national partnership which should be everyone's objective,” they added.