Suleiman Meets al-Rahi: Political Parties are Obligated to Agree on New Electoral Law

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  • W460
  • W460

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.

Comments 7
Thumb mckinl 31 March 2013, 10:36

Suleiman ~ “The political parties are obligated to agree on a new electoral law and they cannot escape from this duty.”

Suleiman and Miqati could have forced a compromise by pushing the Orthodox proposal through ... This would have forced M14 to the table for a realistic negotiation ...

To believe that there will be a complete consensus is to ignore reality. Suleiman has nobody to blame but himself for the current state of affairs and his current comments are nothing but political cover.

Thumb BritishLebanese 31 March 2013, 12:53

Lets have some answers for brucelee, clean, progressive & to the point.

Missing roxsheba 31 March 2013, 13:36

The Othordox law must go through, that is the majority of the subcommittee representing the people which passed and agreed, full stop Suleiman . Stop playing into the hands of the Suadis', pay back the bribe they've given you and stand up for your country and its people , that is your obligation ! Be a good man and a good fair president , leave a good legacy under your leadership .

Missing helicopter 31 March 2013, 21:23

roxsheba, As a Lebanese, I feel that the Orthodox law would be a step back and not forward towards secularism. I am afraid it will ignite sectarian fevers and as a result extremists of each sect will be elected and Lebanon will become polarized along sectarian lines like never before and the end result could be catastrophic for all. I am for Lebanon being one district, proportional representation and creation of a senate that gives equal representation for all. Somehow we need to inch our way towards enlightenment.

Default-user-icon mustapha o. ghalayini (Guest) 31 March 2013, 14:22

very simple:
there will be no more sunni prime minister..the small FARAGH
there will be no more senate elections...the medium FARAGH
sykes- picot is being redrawn based on religious borders

Thumb BritishLebanese 01 April 2013, 00:01

Referendum is what Lebanon needs, let the people decide since it effects them more than the politicians pockets. Lebanese dont stand up & just demand a damn Referendum. Im up for the people to decide rather than the politicians with Leaders throwing in the towel if someone doesnt play the game along one track or another.

Missing roxsheba 01 April 2013, 05:50

I agree BL with you , but given the fraud of elections in Lebanon ( ie buying votes sponsored by the wahibist Arabian countries via Saad arrir) I think we should go one step further and physically hold a demonstration at the Presidential Palace in support or against the Orthodox Law, the I believe the people would have spoken, " the ones in favour of the Orthodox Law will outnumber these wahibist / Jihadist fanatics Sunni sponsored terrorists ". We all should organise a demonstration to show our corrupt politicians the will of the people is far greater than their own interest ! So let us all organise a rally before the elections , we will also show these pedophiles sheikhs where to stick their middle leg , anywhere they want but not in Lebanon !!