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Lebanon: Jumblat Rejects all Electoral Laws that Threaten Druze Representation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Lebanon’s Druze leader Walid Jumblat (2nd R) and Druze Highest Sheikh al-Aql Naim Hassan (2nd L) accept condolences for the death of Druze Sheikh Wahid al-Balous, a leader of the minority Druze community in Syria, at the House of the Druze Community in Beirut, Lebanon, September 10, 2015. (REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir)

Beirut – As the date of Lebanon’s parliamentary elections approaches, chances to agree on a new electoral law are waning, as each political party is seeking to have a law that would be tailored according to its interests.

Despite a variety of draft-laws referred to Parliament, ranging from the proportional system to a law combining both the majority and the proportional systems, Lebanese politicians have so far failed to reach consensus over a law that provides the best representation to different factions.

Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) Leader and MP Walid Jumblat has voiced his rejection to any law that would be based on a proportional or hybrid system, reaffirming his adherence to a winner-takes-all system.

Following a meeting with President Michel Aoun in Baabda on Wednesday, PSP MP Ghazi Aridi said: “If the criterion [over a vote law] is to serve sects and true representation, we hope that the honorable Druze community’s view will be taken into account. We insist on partnership and diversity in the mountains and in Lebanon based on the great historic [Maronite-Druze] reconciliation we concluded with our partners in the mountains under the sponsorship of [former Maronite] Patriarch Sfeir.”

Meanwhile, well-informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Aoun has explained to the visiting PSP delegation the reasons behind its support to a proportional electoral law, which he said provides a true representation to the Lebanese population.

They added that the president also listened to the PSP’s remarks on the proportional system, noting that both sides have agreed to hold further meetings on this issue.

The sources added that Aoun stressed his commitment to hold the parliamentary elections within the constitutional deadline.

In earlier remarks on Wednesday, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said that endorsing a new vote law in time for the upcoming parliamentary elections was at the top of the government’s priorities, while totally ruling out a new extension of Parliament’s tenure.

Hariri’s comments came during a Cabinet session held at the Grand Serail.