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Hizbullah Reportedly Trying to Sway Berri, Jumblat on 'Qualification Electoral System'

Hizbullah is exerting efforts to convince Speaker Nabih Berri and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat of the so-called qualification electoral system that has been proposed by Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil, a media report said on Wednesday.

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Aoun Reiterates Rejection for Extension, Vacuum

President Michel Aoun said on Tuesday the Lebanese must adhere to their right to choose their representatives at the parliament, otherwise Lebanon would become a “totalitarian regime,” the National News Agency reported.

“We will be in a totalitarian regime shall the Lebanese relinquish their right in electing lawmakers at the parliament,” said Aoun, addressing a delegation from the Administrative Decentralization Committee led by Lawyer Antonio al-Hashem.

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NSSF Employees Protest State Budget

The National Social Security Fund employees held a sit-in on Tuesday in Riad al-Solh Square in Beirut, protesting two articles in the recently approved state budget which they say destabilizes the monetary resources of the institution.

The workers protest was held under the title of “Protecting the NSSF” and coincided with a meeting of the Parliamentary Budget and Finance Committee.

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Report: Hizbullah Rejects PSP Law Format, Four-Party Meeting over Electoral Law Fails

An extended four-party meeting held at the Center House Sunday evening failed to record a breakthrough agreement on a new electoral law for Lebanon's parliamentary polls, as Hizbullah party “mourned” a law format suggested by the Progressive Socialist Party, media reports said on Tuesday.

“The meeting was held in the presence of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, Hizbullah secretary-general's political aide Hussein Khalil and Hariri's chief of staff Nader Hariri,” al-Joumhouria daily reported.

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Jumblat Defends PSP Law Format, Says Other Drafts Harm Unity

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat defended on Tuesday a draft for an electoral law suggested by his party over the weekend, lashing out at a format of the so-called qualification system which he said harms national unity.

“If the PSP's format is considered a waste of time, then the sectarian qualification format harms national unity and al-Mustaqbal Movement,” said Jumblat on his Twitter page.

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Hizbullah Says Its Fighters Bombed IS Positions in Ras Baalbek

Hizbullah fighters have reportedly launched an attack against Islamic State positions entrenched in the outskirts of the border town of Ras Baalbek, killing and wounding several, Hizbullah's al-Manar said in a tweet on Friday.

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Social Affairs Contractual Employees Protest Program Termination

Contractual employees at the Social Affairs Ministry blocked the entrance to the ministry on Monday protesting Minister Pierre Bou Assi's decision to end a program they were hired to work on.

Social Affairs Minister Bou Assi said in a press conference on Monday: “We can't carry on with the population monitoring program because it was destined to end in 2016.”

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Palestinian Security Clash with Drug Dealers in Beddawi Camp

Armed clashes have erupted on Monday at dawn at al-Beddawi Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon between drug dealers and the Palestinian security forces, the National News Agency reported.

The clashes started between a group of drug dealers and it soon escalated into heavy gunfire and grenade explosions, NNA said.

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Report: Hariri to Introduce Electoral Law Format Similar to 2013 Initiative

Lebanon's political parties rally to put a new format for a voting system that will govern May's parliamentary polls before the term of the current parliament ends on June 20.

In that regard, “Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected to suggest a format that he previously presented in 2013 from Paris when parties in Lebanon were divided over an electoral law at the time before the parliament extended its term,” al-Joumhouria daily reported on Monday.

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Army Commander: No Safe Haven for Terrorists in Lebanon

Army Commander General Joseph Aoun stressed on Saturday that terrorists and militants will not find a safe haven in any area in Lebanon.

“The security situation in the country is totally under the army's control. Any attempts to disrupt security and stability will be faced firmly,” said Aoun in a statement.

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