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Lebanon: Deepening Disagreements over Electoral Law, Aoun Keen on Fulfilling Youth Aspirations | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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President Michel Aoun (Reuters)

Beirut – While disagreements over the new electoral law deepened, a recently established quartet committee, formed of representatives from each of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Future Movement, Amal and Hezbollah, held its first meetings in an attempt to converge views as the constitutional deadline for holding the parliamentary elections approaches.

Meanwhile, President Michel Aoun told his visitors at the Baabda Palace on Thursday that parliamentary elections would be held on time, based on an electoral law that would meet the Lebanese people’s expectations and would guarantee a fair representation to the different factions.

“I will be loyal to the commitments that I declared in my inaugural speech,” the president said.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, FPM member and former minister Mario Aoun said that Aoun was keen on implementing the Constitution, and has given his directions to the interior minister to form a committee to supervise the elections.

The former minister said that the country’s political forces have so far failed to agree on a new electoral system, adding that each party was seeking the adoption of a law that would meet its own interests.

He added that the president was insisting on a modern law that would be based on the same criteria for the different electoral directorates, and which would fulfill the aspirations of the Lebanese youth to actively participate in the political life.

Parliamentary sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Speaker Nabih Berri was keen on holding the elections according to a new electoral law.

“[Berri] looks for the adoption of a new electoral law and is trying to find common grounds between the different political factions,” the sources said, adding: “For that reason, he approved on a law based on a hybrid system.”

Meanwhile, a delegation from the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) visited Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea on Thursday.

In remarks following the meeting, Geagea said: “We are all convinced that the 1960 electoral law can no longer be adopted, and that we cannot marginalize any party when approving a new law.”