Phalange Party Nominates 20 Candidates for Elections, Vows to 'Resist' 1960 Law

The Phalange Party on Monday urged its allies to refrain from taking part in parliamentary elections under the 1960 electoral law, vowing to “resist this scheme.”

The party “is still resisting the scheme of holding the parliamentary elections under the 1960 law, because of the injustice and unfairness it contains against Christian representation and national partnership,” it said in a statement issued after its politburo's weekly meeting.

And as it hoped for “a national, parliamentary awakening that leads to a new electoral law,” the party called on state officials not to “impose de facto elections on the Lebanese people” and to “prepare the appropriate constitutional measures and the proper timeframe for holding serious elections.”

The Phalange Party announced that it will seek to “change this situation through the constitutional institutions, including the parliament, the Shoura Council and the Constitutional Council, and through resorting to the public opinion in Lebanon and abroad.”

The party called on “all allies and all political parties that are keen on national partnership to refrain from taking part in the parliamentary polls under the 1960 law which they had rejected in the past, especially that participating in the elections under this law would be against the pact of coexistence.”

“This rejection would create a new momentum to draft a fair electoral law, even if that led to delaying the elections for a short period,” it added.

The political bureau also authorized party leader Amin Gemayel to “take the appropriate decision on submitting nominations” for the parliamentary elections.

However, later on Monday, MP Sami Gemayel said the party submitted the nomination requests of 20 candidates to the interior ministry.

“Those who rejected the normal democratic course, which is to put the electoral proposals to a vote in parliament, are to blame for what's happening today,” Gemayel said in an interview on MTV.

“We accepted the bad choice … after we gave a chance for a broad boycott, as unilateral boycott is of no use,” Gemayel explained, noting that “boycott would only have a value if all the Bkirki parties decided to declare their boycott.”

And as he hoped elections will not be held on June 16, Gemayel added: “We will keep trying to topple the 1960 law until the end, but we won't be afraid to take part in the electoral law should it be imposed on us, and we hope all forces will wake up so we can avoid elections whose legitimacy is questioned.”

Earlier, the cabinet approved holding the parliamentary elections according to the 1960 electoral law on June 16.

Caretaker Information Minister Walid al-Daouq confirmed that it approved the necessary measures and a treasury loan worth L.L. 22 billion in order to hold the elections.

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