Lebanon – Electoral Subcommittee Finishes 1st Round of Meetings, Submits Report to Berri

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The parliamentary subcommittee tasked with debating the country’s next electoral law on Monday finished its first round of talks after it held nine meetings without being able to reach consensus among its members, as the Free Patriotic Movement insisted that the proceedings of the meetings were wrapped up and that the Orthodox Gathering’s proposal received the approval of the majority of conferees.

“The subcommittee discussed today the draft of the report that wraps up the proceedings of the first phase and which will be submitted to the parliament speaker. Meetings will resume on Tuesday morning,” MP Robert Ghanem told reporters after the meeting.

Meanwhile, Change and Reform bloc MP Alain Aoun told OTV: “We call for continuing discussions on the Orthodox Gathering proposal at the general assembly of parliament because the majority of MPs agreed on it during the discussions” of the subcommittee.

LBCI said all members of the subcommittee held onto their stances as National Struggle Front MP Akram Shehayyeb insisted that the report is not binding.

“The report submitted by the MPs to Berri includes two clauses: one about proposals and draft laws and another about the six seats allocated to expats. It also says that the Orthodox Gathering proposal has received the approval of the majority of conferees,” MTV reported.

It also said that Speaker Nabih Berri delegated his adviser Ali Hamdan to the meeting in a bid to seal off the report and that Hamdan was seen conducting extensive talks.

MTV noted that there is an “alternative” to the Orthodox Gathering proposal that is being discussed behind the scenes, revealing that “important meetings will be held in Ain al-Tineh on Tuesday in a bid to reach common ground among parties.”

Before he joined the meeting earlier on Monday, MP Alain Aoun told reporters: “Today, our demand has been achieved, as the discussions will be wrapped up in official minutes of meeting that will be submitted to the joint committees.”

He voiced willingness to “continue discussions during the meetings in a bid to reach common ground and an electoral law that satisfies all parties.”

For his part, Development and Liberation bloc MP Ali Bazzi said “Berri will receive the minutes of meeting today or tomorrow.”

“Our stance is clear: we want real equal power-sharing and partnership,” said MP Sami Gemayel.

 

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