Suleiman: Transitional Parliament an Option if No New Law Before Polls


President Michel Suleiman called on Friday for holding the elections based on the winner-takes-all system if parliament failed to agree on a new draft-law but said the legislature could be later dissolved and polls held if a new law was adopted.

“Everyone is doubting whether the parliament would represent the Lebanese fairly,” he told al-Joumhouria newspaper.

He suggested “holding the elections for a transitional parliament pending an agreement on a new electoral draft-law.”

“Then a new legislature could be elected based on the new law in order to be honest with ourselves and the people,” Suleiman said.

The cabinet has approved a bill that divides Lebanon into 13 electoral districts and is based on proportionality. But the opposition March 14 coalition has rejected it.

Furthermore, discussions on an electoral draft-law stopped in October when the opposition boycotted all parliamentary activity after blaming the government for the assassination of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau chief Wissam al-Hasan.

In his remarks to al-Joumhouria on the 2013 elections, Suleiman said he will ensure that the polls are held on time no matter which law is adopted.

“I prefer a system based on proportional representation but if the Lebanese don’t agree with me I will go ahead with a consensual decision among them,” he said.

The president also rejected extending the parliament’s mandate, denying reports that Paris had made such a proposal.

“Is it believable for a country such as France to make such suggestions?” he wondered.



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