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Lebanon Polls: Jumblat with Amended 1960 Law, Hezbollah Backs Full Proportional System - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Beirut – With the start of the countdown for the constitutional deadlines linked to Lebanon’s parliamentary elections expected next May, the mission to agree on a new electoral law does not seem an easy task in light of the disputes among political parties, each supporting a format that suits its own political interests.

Only two weeks before the Feb. 21 deadline to complete all the preparations and call for the elections, head of the Democratic Gathering MP Walid Jumblat said he supported the implementation of the Taef Agreement or the amendment of the 1960 law in the upcoming polls.

“Let us head directly to the implementation of the Taef or an amended version of the 1960 law,” Jumblat said on Sunday in an opening speech at the Progressive Socialist Party’s 47th convention.

He said the Taef Accord stipulates the creation of a Senate after the gradual or full abolition of political sectarianism, while maintaining certain norms, such as keeping the presidential post for the Christians.

Jumblat considered that the proportionality law could be implemented once the Parliament’s sectarianism was eradicated. He described partnership and diversity in Lebanon as the essence of the nation.

The MP said the proportional law was not mentioned in the Taef Accord.

For his part, member of Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc, Ali Fayyad, said on Sunday that the best and easiest solution to the crisis was the recourse to an electoral law based on proportional representation.

“Any discussion away from full proportionality will hit a discretionary and selectivity brick wall, which is far-off the unity of norms that must lead any electoral approach,” Fayad said during a reforestation ceremony in southern Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the secretary general of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc MP Ibrahim Kanaan told a local television on Sunday that his political team refuses to be pressured into extending the parliament’s mandate as well as holding legislative elections under the 1960 law.

He said that President Michel Aoun wanted the elections to have fair representation, noting that his firm stance was a catalyst for political powers to agree on a new law.

Referring to the stance of Jumblat, Kanaan said: “We do not aim at provoking or targeting anyone. We want healthy partnership with everyone.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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