Lebanon – Miqati Reiterates Criticism of Orthodox Proposal, Says it Incites Division


Prime Minister Najib Miqati slammed on Saturday the Orthodox Gathering electoral draft law, stressing that the proposal will not be adopted as it violates the “essence of Lebanon’s existence and mutual coexistence.”

“We must achieve real representation for all Lebanese sects through reaching an agreement on an electoral law that does not harm coexistence,” Miqati said via twitter.

He pointed out that the 1975-1990 war, which took the lives of at least 150,000 people, failed to divide the Lebanese and creating a federal system as they sought to overcome the obstacles.

The polls are likely to be postponed if the parliament gives the green light to the so-called Orthodox Gathering proposal that was approved by the joint parliamentary committees on Tuesday.

It divides Lebanon into a single district and allows each sect to vote for its own MPs under a proportional representation system.

But the proposal has been rejected by al-Mustaqbal bloc, the centrist National Struggle Front of MP Walid Jumblat, and March 14 opposition’s Christian independent MPs. It has been also criticized by President Michel Suleiman.

“Are we asked today to surrender to another kind of division or a disguised federation,” Miqati wondered.

He hailed the will of “most” Lebanese to coexist under one nation, saying: “It would be unfair to deprive them from their right by adopting an electoral law such as the Orthodox proposal.”

“The obvious purpose behind the Orthodox proposal is to give all sects their rights, but it was really found to hit the Lebanese unity deeply and to split the spiritual families,” Miqati added.



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