Miqati Warns of State's Collapse: Interests of Sects Should Not Block National Unity

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati warned on Wednesday that the persistence of the “severe political divisions” in Lebanon will “inevitably” lead to the collapse of the state, urging all sides to rise above sectarianism.

He said before his visitors: “The interests of sects should not act as independent identities that prevent national unity and eliminate Lebanon's uniqueness.”

“Lebanon is not passing through a stage of transition, but a fateful one, that requires us to double efforts” to overcome it, he remarked.

“We must all exert efforts to restore trust between the political factions and start serious and responsible dialogue that maintains national and constitutional principles and averts total chaos,” stressed Miqati.

To this end, he called on all sides to abandon their sectarian mentality as soon as possible “in order for them to reach an agreement over a parliamentary electoral law that would be accepted by the majority of the political powers.”

“Achieving the rights of all Lebanese sects is a legitimate demand,” but it should not take place at the expense of the country's interests, added the caretaker premier.

He therefore demanded that parliament convene in order to address the government's electoral law proposal, saying that it offers “a suitable base to launch discussions that can lead to a modern vote law.”

The government approved in August 2012 a parliamentary electoral law based on proportional representation and 13 electoral districts.

The political powers have so far failed to agree on a new electoral law, which is threatening to postpone the elections that are set for June 16.

Speaker Nabih Berri is holding consultations with political foes away from media spotlight as a last attempt for reaching common ground over a new electoral law before resorting to the extension of the parliament's mandate.

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