Miqati Says Elections on Time as Charbel Does Not Rule out Their Postponement

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Prime Minister Najib Miqati stated that only parliament can decide whether to postpone the parliamentary elections, reported the daily An Nahar on Saturday.

He said: “The government is working according to the fact that the elections will be held as scheduled in June.”

Nothing has so far emerged that would call for their delay, he remarked.

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel noted however on Friday that he does not rule out the possibility of postponing the polls.

He revealed that all preparations had been made according to the possibility of holding the elections based on the 1960 electoral law until a new one is approved.

He said however that the staging of the elections hinges on stability in Lebanon.

“Should stability be maintained, then the elections will be held,” explained the minister.

The various political factions have so far failed in reaching an agreement over a new electoral law, amid warnings that the failure to do so will result in the postponement of the elections.

The disputes have centered over the Orthodox Gathering proposal, which has garnered the support of various March 8 and 14 camp Christian parties, but the opposition of President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Najib Miqati, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat, and various independent March 14 MPs.

The electoral subcommittee had been meeting in recent weeks in order to reach an agreement over an alternative proposal, with discussions focusing on a hybrid law that combines the winner-takes-all and proportional representation systems.

The government approved in August an electoral law based on proportional representation and 13 electoral districts.

The majority of the factions have voiced their opposition to holding the elections based on the amended 1960 law that was adopted during the 2009 elections.

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