Lebanon – Saniora: Mustaqbal Maintains Position on Orthodox Law, March 14 Will Reject Proportional Representation

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Al-Mustaqbal bloc leader MP Fouad Saniora restated on Monday his rejection of the Orthodox Gathering’s electoral law, adding that the bloc’s lawmakers do not mind discussing the proposal suggested by the March 14 Christian parties.

“The bloc’s decision is based on the values stated in the Taef accord and on our belief in fair representation and freedom of choice,” Saniora explained during an interview with MTV.

The former PM’s comments come after the Christian four-party committee on the elections’ law agreed on Sunday to endorse the electoral system proposed by the Orthodox Gathering, under which each sect would elect its own lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the March 14 opposition Christians had reached an agreement with al-Mustaqbal on a plan to divide Lebanon into 50 small-sized districts based on a winner-takes-all system and referred it to parliament.

Saniora revealed that March 14 forces also lean towards rejecting the proportional representation.

“This law is complex and we need more time to convince the Lebanese people of accepting it,” he explained, adding that this proposal was supposed to be discussed in the parliament two and half years before the elections.

The lawmaker said: “The biggest challenge for the majority that wins the elections is to act for the interest of all Lebanese and not as a force opposing other parties in the country,” expressing that “the current majority is not taking into consideration the concerns of the March 14 forces”.

 

Saniora also revealed during his interview with MTV that former PM Saad Hariri will return to Lebanon soon and will take part in the parliamentary elections.

“I support Hariri’s nomination to head Lebanon’s next cabinet,” he remarked.

The electoral subcommittee is scheduled to convene on Tuesday to discuss the law to be adopted in the upcoming elections.

After boycotting the cabinet’s work and the national dialogue sessions following the assassination of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau head Brigadier General Wissam al-Hasan on October 19, the March 14 opposition announced that it will accept Speaker Nabih Berri’s proposal of residing in a hotel near the parliament building in downtown Beirut as a safety precaution to participate in the electoral subcommittee’s talks.

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