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Fate of Draft Electoral Law Hinges on Solution to Sharp Differences

| 01.11,11. 05:42 PM |


Fate of Draft Electoral Law Hinges on Solution to Sharp Differences

The cabinet is scheduled on Tuesday to start a long journey of discussions on the draft electoral law as ministerial sources expected the government to face obstacles that would hinder major political agreements on the bill.
Premier Najib Miqati’s cabinet has 79 items on its agenda but Interior Minister Marwan Charbel’s draft electoral law is likely to put the government in a long and difficult path of “complications that would create obstacles to major political understandings in the short term,” the sources told An Nahar daily.
Despite the pessimistic tone, President Michel Suleiman stressed on Monday that Lebanon should “relinquish the current law which contradicts with democracy.”
The government should adopt “a modern law that paves way for the representation of all Lebanese factions on the basis of equality,” he said a day before presiding the session at Baabda palace.
The draft law's proposals range from adopting 10 to 14 middle-sized constituencies. It also contains proposals to divide Beirut into two electoral districts, as opposed to the current three-way division of the capital.
Charbel has also made proposals on districts in Northern Lebanon, the Bekaa, Mount Lebanon, Nabatiyeh and the South.
The ministerial sources expected the cabinet to form a committee headed by Miqati to study the draft law. They said the government has to face major challenges over the divisions among cabinet ministers on the issue of proportional representation.
Progressive Socialist Party leader has on several occasions hinted his rejection of such representation and preferred to keep the winner-takes-all system.
Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour is also expected to stir during the cabinet session the issue of advisors in the diplomatic corps from outside the agenda. Mansour believes there is an urgent need to appoint diplomats and make transfers between current ambassadors.

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