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Lebanon: Jumblat Rallies against Proportional Electoral Law - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Beirut – Progressive Socialist Party Leader MP Walid Jumblat has maintained steady efforts to hamper any attempt to adopt a parliamentary electoral law that would be based on the proportional system.

Jumblat, who had voiced his concern over the fate of the Druze community should the upcoming elections in May be held on the proportional system, stressed the need to agree on a law that provides a fair representation to the different Lebanese factions.

In this regard, a PSP delegation visited Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri at the Grand Serail on Tuesday to present the party’s views on the matter.

Heading the delegation, Education Minister Marwan Hamadeh said in a news conference following the meeting that Hariri had expressed his understanding toward Jumblat’s demand for a true representation for all sides in any electoral law.

“All the [officials] we have met have made it clear that they will not approve any vote law that Walid Jumblatt rejects,” Hamadeh said.

While the interior ministry is finalizing preparations to hold the parliamentary elections on the basis of the 1960 electoral law, Interior Minister Nouhad al-Machnouk said on Tuesday that “exceptional efforts” would be made in the next few days to agree on a new vote law.

Speaking following a meeting with President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace, the interior minister said: “His excellency entrusted me with the responsibility of adhering to the Constitution and laws and carrying out necessary preparations to hold the elections.”

“Political parties assume the responsibility for reaching a political consensus on a new electoral law at the right time,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Free Patriotic Movement said on Tuesday that it would adopt “legitimate and constitutional means” to hinder any attempt to keep the 1960 law in place or extend Parliament’s mandate.

In remarks following the FPM bloc weekly meeting on Tuesday, MP Ibrahim Kanaan said: “The bloc will neither accept an extension [of Parliament’s term] nor the 1960 law.”