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Lebanon: Cabinet Avoids Snooping into Electoral Law Debate to Elude Divisions - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Beirut – As the date of the upcoming legislative session to extend Parliament’s term approaches, chances of an agreement over a new electoral law seem to be fading away.

In the wake of conflicting draft-laws submitted by different political figures and groups, and disagreements between allies and opponents alike over the nature of the new law, Lebanese President Michel Aoun warned on Tuesday against extending Parliament’s term.

Addressing his visitors at the Baabda Palace, Aoun stressed his rejection of Parliament term extension, adding that no vacuum should occur in institutions even if no electoral law is adopted within the June 20 constitutional deadline.

“It is unacceptable that the Parliament extends its term for one minute and there will be no vacuum in institutions even if we reached June 20,” Aoun said during his meeting with a delegation from the Administrative Decentralization Committee at the Beirut Bar Association.

Aoun underlined his keenness on preserving Lebanese people’s right to hold fair and just elections based on proper representation of the different factions.

The Lebanese president expressed his support to any electoral law that “secures proper representation” – adding that any parliamentary extension would be “an accumulated corruption”.

“I have an obligation towards the young people of Lebanon and the situation cannot persist as it is,” the president noted, adding that national laws and the Lebanese Constitution should be respected.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Minister of Economy and Trade Raed Khoury said that the coming two weeks would determine the course of developments.

He added that he expected an agreement would be reached soon over a new electoral law.

For his part, State Minister for Women’s Affairs Jean Hogassapian justified the absence of Cabinet meetings, telling Asharq Al-Awsat: “The Cabinet cannot convene without discussing the issue of the electoral law, while this matter requires more agreements.”