Lawmakers from the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces on Wednesday rejected a proposed electoral law and described it as an “attempt to change the political system.”
“What is proposed is not related to changing the electoral law but rather to changing the political system in Lebanon,” MP Georges Adwan of the LF-led Strong Republic bloc said after a meeting for the joint parliamentary committees.
“The timing of proposing a change to the political system is not sound, and when we raise this issue we must take into consideration that we are a pluralistic country containing components whose presence and proper representation should be respected,” Adwan added.
He also noted that the current electoral law, under which the 2018 polls were held, is “the first law in 30 years that largely achieves correct and effective representation.”
MP Alain Aoun of the FPM-led Strong Lebanon bloc meanwhile said the discussions were “calm, profound and responsible.”
“The debate should acknowledge the presence of an electoral law that is in effect and we are before a suggestion that tackles constitutional issues and a change to the political system,” Aoun added.
He also said that he suggested referring the issue of the electoral law to a national dialogue conference because it would be “the appropriate place to discuss it.”
MP Ali Fayyad of Hizbullah’s Loyalty to Resistance bloc for his part said that “nothing prevents discussing some of the electoral law’s weak points.”
“We have some technical remarks and we prefer electoral districts that are confessionally mixed,” he added.
“There is no need to discuss the issue of the electoral law in a tense manner and we don’t mind keeping the current law,” Fayyad went on to say.
MP Qassem Hashem of Speaker Nabih Berri’s Development and Liberation bloc meanwhile said that his bloc has proposed “a modern electoral law.”
“The current law is not the best and what’s important is to reach a civil state through the electoral law,” Hashem added.
The draft law submitted by the bloc calls for turning Lebanon into a single electoral district under a full proportional representation system and without so-called preferential votes.
The current law, which allowed the FPM and the LF to boost their representation in parliament, is based on proportional representation, 15 electoral districts and two preferential votes per electoral ballot.