Christian Leaders Decide to Halt Elections' Nomination, Suspend Talks on Orthodox Proposalإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Christian leaders meeting in Bkirki on Wednesday decided not to submit any nomination for a parliamentary elections based on the 1960's law, announcing the suspension of discussions over the Orthodox Gathering's proposal.
"The leaders consider that the 1960's law further strengthens injustice against Christians,” a released statement after the meeting explained.
Bkirki Spokesperson Walid Ghayyad added that Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel will be asked to stop receiving candidacies for an elections based on this law.
Meanwhile, Free Patriotic Movement MP Alain Aoun said after the meeting that legal means will be looked into to halt the nomination process.
Ghayyad told reporters that discussions over the Orthodox proposal will be suspended until the time limit for submitting nominations is over.
He noted that Christian parties are open to discuss any proposal that assures true representation.
“A technical postponement of the parliamentary elections is accepted to allow time for adopting a new law,” the Bkirki spokesperson announced.
LBCI television added that Charbel has informed the Christian leaders that he will send a note to President Michel Suleiman, Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati and Speaker Nabih Berri announcing that he cannot hold the elections on time.
MP Aoun noted: “We want an election based on a new law and we are open to discussing a consensual proposal”.
“We must give a chance for true representation and for a law that gains Lebanese consensus,” Phalange bloc MP Sami Gemayel expressed.
Meanwhile, Lebanese Forces MP George Adwan stressed that all efforts must be exerted to adopt a new law.
He pointed out: “It has become clear that we are getting closer to agreeing on a hybrid suggestion”.
Al-Rahi will send a delegation of bishops to Baabda Palace to share with Suleiman the conclusions of Wednesday's meeting, LBCI said, remarking also that a phone conversation was held between the head of the Christian church and the president of the republic during Wednesday's meeting.
An Nahar newspaper had said earlier on Wednesday that Suleiman will call for a session for the caretaker cabinet next week that would focus on the preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections based on the 1960 law.
The president rejects renewing the tenure of the current parliament and his visitors quoted him saying that he will not allow to be labeled as “the president that failed to preserve the constitution and laws”.
Sources told the daily that the deadline for candidates to submit their nominations to the parliamentary elections is expected to be extended to April 20.
The rival parties have so far failed to agree on an electoral draft-law as the resignation of Miqati last month complicated the political crisis in Lebanon.
The March 8 coalition is holding on to the so-called Orthodox Gathering draft as the only alternative to the 1960 law, however, the proposal was rejected by Suleiman, Miqati, al-Mustaqbal bloc, the National Struggle Front of MP Walid Jumblat, and the March 14 opposition’s Christian independent MPs.
The polls 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.
Suleiman and Miqati have signed a decree that sets the elections on June 9 according to the 1960 law, which is based on winner-takes-all system, over the lack of agreement between the bickering parliamentary blocs, drawing by this the ire of the March 8 majority coalition.