Mashnouq: Electoral Law Needs a Month, Proportional Representation Part of It

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq announced Monday that Lebanon will have a new electoral law within a month, noting that it will inevitably contain a proportional representation component.

“There will be no elections without a new law and there will be a technical extension” of the parliament's term in order to “prepare” for the implementation of the new law, Mashnouq said after talks with President Michel Aoun in Baabda.

“Proportional representation will be part of any new law and it has become a reality, the same as a technical extension and a new law have become inevitable,” the minister added.

He noted that Aoun is “insisting on elections and on a postponement that doesn't exceed a few months after reaching a (new) law that can wait one more month.”

The country has not organized parliamentary elections since 2009 and the parliament has since extended its own mandate twice.

Hizbullah has repeatedly called for an electoral law fully based on proportional representation but al-Mustaqbal Movement and Druze leader MP Walid Jumblat have both rejected the proposal.

Mustaqbal argues that Hizbullah's arms would prevent serious competition in the party's strongholds while Jumblat has warned that such an electoral system would “marginalize” the minority Druze community whose presence is concentrated in the Chouf and Aley areas.

The political parties are meanwhile discussing a so-called hybrid electoral law that mixes proportional representation with the winner-takes-all system.

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