Suleiman Meets al-Rahi: Political Parties are Obligated to Agree on New Electoral Lawإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Suleiman stressed on Sunday the need to hold the parliamentary elections on time, rejecting the possibility of extending the term of the current parliament.
He said: “The political parties are obligated to agree on a new electoral law and they cannot escape from this duty.”
He made his remarks after a closed-door meeting with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi ahead of Easter mass at Bkirki.
The president reiterated the patriarch's statements over holding the elections on time, adding: “The new government will be tasked with holding the polls, limiting the repercussions of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon, and maintaining stability.”
On the debate over the electoral law, Suleiman noted: “The majority of the Lebanese people do not want to hold the elections based on the 1960, but they also want the elections to be held.”
The government had already approved a draft electoral law, which is the most appropriate one at the current time, he said of the proposal which adopts the proportional representation system and divides Lebanon into 13 districts.
“Failing to hold the elections and leading the country towards political vacuum is a sin,” he declared.
Moreover, he stated that no one can obstruct the elections because staging them is stipulated in the constitution.
“They should be held regardless of what type of government is formed,” he remarked.
In addition, Suleiman revealed that he will renew his call on political parties to return to the national dialogue.
The political parties of the Free Patriotic Movement, Marada Movement, Phalange Party, and Lebanese Forces had reached an agreement over the Orthodox Gathering electoral law, which divides Lebanon into a single district and allows each sect to vote for its own MPs under a proportional representation system.
The proposal has been rejected by Suleiman, caretaker Premier Najib Miqati, the Mustaqbal bloc, the centrist National Struggle Front of MP Walid Jumblat, and the March 14 opposition’s Christian independent MPs, who deemed it as fueling sectarian divisions in Lebanon.
Separately, al-Rahi received phone calls from Miqati and ex-PMs Saad Hariri and Fouad Saniora, who offered him Easter greetings.
The patriarch also telephoned Speaker Nabih Berri to inquire about his health following the stone removal surgery he underwent on Friday.