Lebanon – Geagea to Allies: Reach Consensus on Electoral Law instead of Criticizing Orthodox Proposal

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Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea called on his allies in the March 14 coalition to make an effort to reach consensus over an electoral law instead of “continuously attacking” the Orthodox Gathering’s draft, criticizing spreading a “fake victory atmosphere” among March 8’s Christians.

“I urge political factions to agree on an electoral law instead of attacking the Orthodox draft,” Geagea stated in a speech he gave at a LF ceremony in Maarab, during which the door to admitting new party members was opened.

Geagea expressed that the party and its leaders have been “unfairly doubted and questioned” over supporting the Orthodox proposal, clarifying that the LF has always fought against religious mobilizing.

“We are not a sectarian nor a factional party,” he noted.

Geagea remarked that the LF is true to supporting March 14 and the Cedar Revolution’s cause: “We did not have a MP in (the Beirut district of) Ashrafieh and this proves that we put our cause first”.

“This, however, does not mean we accept removing ourselves from the political game,” he pointed out.

He stated: “March 14 must take into consideration all Lebanese people’s concerns and worries”.

The Orthodox Gathering proposal was on Tuesday approved by the joint parliamentary committees despite the rejection of al-Mustaqbal bloc, the National Struggle Front of MP Walid Jumblat and March 14 opposition’s independent Christian MPs.

Prime Minister Najib Miqati has also criticized it and President Michel Suleiman has said he would challenge the plan before the Constitutional Council if it was approved by parliament.

The proposal calls for dividing Lebanon into a single district and allows each sect to vote for its own MPs under a proportional representation system.

The LF leader talked about the party’s history during the ceremony, expressing that “the resistance was launched at a time of complete absence of legal authorities in the country”.

“The LF is a true resistance fighting for freedom against tyranny,” he said. “It is a party where the number of martyrs is close to that of its members”.

He said it is a Lebanese republican party that works towards the best interest of Lebanon, adding that the LF will carry the problems of society and seek to “fight emigration and assassinations”.

Geagea stressed that positions cannot be inherited or worshiped in the party, urging supporters that doubt the level of their commitment to refrain from officially joining it.

“You can advance based on your competence, dedication, and commitment,” he noted. “All views are accepted and heard and the LF does forget its martyrs and their cause”.

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