Charbel Says Consensus Essential to Hold Polls, Expects Majority to Obstruct 1960 Lawإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel expected on Saturday that the cabinet will not be able to form the independent authority overseeing the elections as the majority will obstruct the matter over its rejection to adopt the 1960 law during the upcoming parliamentary elections.
“The formation of the authority requires a decree and the approval of (the simple majority) half plus one,” Charbel said in comments published in An Nahar newspapers.
The minister reiterated his rejection to the the adoption of the 1960 law, which is based on winners-take-all system, however, he pointed out that he has no other solution.
“I am obliged to start preparing for the polls according to the law that is in effect,” Charbel noted.
He expressed belief that the elections will not be held if the disputes between the rival parties continue over the electoral law, stressing that the only solution would be by consensus over a new proposal.
President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati signed on Monday a decree calling on electoral bodies to hold the elections based on the 1960 law, which has been opposed by the rival March 8 and 14 camps.
On Friday, Charbel issued an order for nominees wishing to run in the parliamentary elections to submit their candidacies.
The nominees should submit their request at the Interior Ministry headquarters in Beirut between March 11 and April 10.
Charbel told As Safir newspaper that he will send a memo to the justice ministry's higher consultative committee to give a legal opinion if the 1960 law can still be adopted or not.
The 1960 law has been rejected by the rival March 8 and 14 camps, who have so far failed to agree on a new one, with the ongoing dispute threatening to postpone the elections.
The so-called Orthodox Gathering proposal by the joint parliamentary committees has been adopted, but it drew a sharp debate among the opposition's factions and with foes.
The elections are likely to be postponed if the parliament gives the green light to the proposal that divides Lebanon into a single district and allows each sect to vote for its own MPs under a proportional representation system.
The draft-law has been rejected by al-Mustaqbal bloc, the centrist National Struggle Front of MP Walid Jumblat, and the March 14 opposition’s Christian independent MPs. It has been also criticized by Suleiman and Miqati.