Lebanon – Al-Rahi Urges Electoral Subcommittee to Speedily Set Stage for Parliamentary Session

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Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi urged on Monday the members of a subcommittee to agree on a new draft-law and put it on parliament’s agenda.

In a message to the MPs, who are scheduled to revive the subcommittee meetings in parliament on Tuesday, al-Rahi said: “You should work hard to produce a new electoral law and overcome the 1960 law that marginalizes a large segment of the Lebanese.”

The law that is based on a winner-takes-all system and was adopted in the previous elections prevents the Lebanese from participating in their public duties, he said.

“The Lebanese want a law that reflects true representation and leads to real national partnership,” he said.

The patriarch also urged the head of the committee and the MPs from the rival March 8 and 14 camps to comfort the Lebanese that the state is based on their cooperation and understanding among each other.

He said they should speedily set the stage for a parliamentary session to vote on a new draft-law, warning the lawmakers would be held responsible for their choices and stances.

The subcommittee that is made up of lawmakers from the majority and the opposition is set to discuss during intense meetings starting Tuesday the electoral system and the type and size of districts.

During a meeting held under al-Rahi on Sunday, the Christian four-party committee on the electoral law agreed to endorse the electoral system proposed by the so-called Orthodox Gathering, under which each sect would elect its own lawmakers.

The panel comprises representatives from the Free Patriotic Movement, the Lebanese Forces, the Phalange Party and the Marada Movement.

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