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Hasbani Says Electoral Law Will Soon be Devised

Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ghassan Hasbani said Tuesday that an agreement on an electoral law is making progress, pointing out that discussions are open to various possibilities and are focusing on “particular details,” and al-Joumhouria daily reported.

Discussions “on a voting system are making important steps towards an agreement. The atmospheres are positive, discussions are now only focusing on specific details,” Hasbani told the daily in an interview.

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Report: BDL Suspends Electronic Transactions after Global Cyberattck

The cyberattack that took computer files hostage around the world compelled Lebanon's central bank (Banque Du Liban) on Monday to temporarily suspend electronic transactions as a precaution, media reports said on Tuesday.

Al-Joumhouria daily said the cyberattack has failed after thorough measures taken by the central bank. But, it is not yet clear whether BDL will resume its normal activity on Tuesday, or whether freezing its electronic activity and related operations will last longer, it said.

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Report: FPM, LF Say Berri's Law Proposal Was a 'Maneuver'

Some Christian political parties have accused Speaker Nabih Berri of “maneuvering” when he first proposed the creation of senate as part of a new parliamentary electoral law, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Tuesday.

“Berri's suggestion to create a senate was merely a superficial maneuver because he retracted his proposal, under the pretext of expiration of deadlines, after the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces agreed to it,” FPM and LF sources told the daily on condition of anonymity.

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Aoun Says Chances Still Open to Agree on New Voting System

President Michel Aoun assured on Monday that chances are still available to agree on an electoral law for the upcoming parliamentary polls before June 19 when the term of the parliament ends.

“The possibility is still available until June 19 to agree on a new electoral law. We are always working to guarantee that the rights of all Lebanese components are met,” said Aoun.

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Berri: Discussions Focusing on Proportional Representation System

Speaker Nabih Berri assured on Monday that atmospheres are positive although the idea of establishing a senate has been withdrawn from a proposal he made on an electoral law.

“Withdrawing the idea of creating a senate by May 15, does not mean that the atmospheres are not positive with all political parties, especially that proportional representation is the subject under discussion currently,” the parliament leadership said in a statement on Monday.

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Harb Urges Parties to Grasp Opportunity for Electoral Law Improvements

MP Boutros Harb said on Monday that no agreement on an electoral law was reached during a meeting held Sunday evening at Ain el-Tineh, adding that discussions were still underway to improve conditions.

“There was no agreement on a single scenario during Sunday's evening meeting on an electoral law. Debate is continuing in order to improve conditions in the recent negotiations,” said Harb in an interview to VDL (100.5).

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Report: Cabinet to Convene Wednesday, No Thorny Issues on Agenda

The cabinet will hold an ordinary session at the Grand Serail on Wednesday to tackle 52 items on its agenda, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Monday.

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil is expected to present a demand for the renewal of the Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh's term.

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Report: Electoral Law Meeting Declared as 'Important' Fails to Accomplish Desired Results

An evening meeting held in Ain el-Tineh on Sunday between several political figures, failed to reach decisive results as for an agreement on a new parliamentary electoral law, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Monday.

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ICRC: Protracted Crises Could Lead to Collapse of Health Systems

As hundreds of experts convened this week in Beirut to discuss conflict medicine at the Middle East Medical Assembly, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned of the long-term consequences that protracted crises might have on health systems.

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Hizbullah Hands Over Eastern Border Posts to Lebanese Army

Hizbullah handed over Friday to the Lebanese army its military posts in the outskirts of the eastern border towns of Tufail, Brital, Ham and Maaraboun, Hizbullah's al-Manar TV said.

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