Aoun Says to Propose ‘Referendum’ if Parties Fail to Agree on Electoral Law


President Michel Aoun warned Friday that he would propose a popular “referendum” should the political forces fail to agree on a new electoral law.

“Any electoral law must be based on unified standards and I will propose a referendum should we reach a dead end,” Aoun told a delegation from the Syndicate of Press Editors.

He lamented that “there is no will approve an electoral law.”

“How can we build a stable society in the absence of such a will?” the president wondered.

And stressing his insistence on “an electoral law that achieves correct representation,” Aoun noted that “the crisis lies in the fact that each political leader wants to crush the minority that is present in his community and to steal a number of seats from the other communities.”

While al-Mustaqbal Movement has rejected that the electoral law be fully based on the proportional representation system, arguing that Hizbullah’s weapons would prevents serious competition in the party’s strongholds, the Democratic Gathering led by MP Walid Jumblat has totally rejected proportional representation, even within a hybrid law, warning that it would “marginalize” the minority Druze community.

Hizbullah, Mustaqbal, the Free Patriotic Movement, AMAL 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.