Arslan Adheres to Proportional Electoral Law, Says 1960 Law Unfair for Druze

Minister for the Displaced Talal Arslan stressed on Friday that the 1960 electoral law does not provide just representation for the Druze community while proportional representation does, the National News Agency reported.

“The 1960 electoral law does not achieve justice for Druze lawmakers,” said Arslan during a meeting with President Michel Aoun.

Heading a delegation from the Lebanese Democratic Party, Arslan added: “Under the 1960 majoritarian law the Druze votes can secure two MP seats out of eight at the parliament,” the remaining six MPs would succeed with the votes of other sects.

Arslan’s position comes to contradict a stance made by influential Druze leader MP Walid Jumblat.

Jumblat had said that proportional representation marginalizes the Druze which constitutes a major component of the Lebanese community.

While al-Mustaqbal Movement had previously rejected that the electoral law be fully based on proportional representation, arguing that Hizbullah’s arms would prevent serious competition in the party’s strongholds, Jumblat has totally rejected proportional representation, even within a hybrid law, warning that it would “marginalize” the minority Druze community.

Hizbullah, Mustaqbal, AMAL, the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces are meanwhile discussing several formats of a so-called hybrid electoral law that mixes proportional representation with the winner-takes-all system.

The country has not organized parliamentary elections since 2009 and the legislature has instead twice extended its own mandate.

The last polls were held under an amended version of the 1960 electoral law and the next vote is scheduled for May.