Geagea Assures, Efforts Serious on New Law for Parliamentary Polls

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea seemed pessimistic on the potentials that Lebanon’s political parties reach common ground as for agreeing on a new electoral law that will govern the upcoming parliamentary elections, as he renewed rejection for the current 1960 law that governed the 2009 elections.

“Behind the scenes, there are some serious efforts among political parties in all directions in order to reach a new law before the month’s end,” An Nahar daily quoted Geagea as saying on Saturday.

The LF chief seemed determined and rejected the 1960 law, he said: “We are very much determined to agree on a new law,” pointing out that President Michel Aoun would consider the start of his term as unsuccessful, shall that goal fail.

Geagea stressed that the LF and the Free Patriotic Movement have the same goal in that regard, pointing out that efforts are pushing for the adoption of a hybrid law that brings between the laws proposed by the LF, al-Mustaqbal Movement, Progressive socialist party and Berri’s proposal.

Mustaqbal, the LF and the PSP parties have proposed a hybrid electoral law under which 68 MPs would be elected under the winner-takes-all system and 60 MPs under the proportional representation system.

On the other hand, Berri proposed a law under which 64 MPs would be elected under a majoritarian law and 64 under the proportional representation system.

Hizbullah on the other hand has repeatedly called for an electoral law based on proportional representation but other political parties, especially al-Mustaqbal, have rejected the proposal and argued that the party’s controversial arsenal of arms would prevent serious competition in regions where the Iran-backed party is influential.

The country has not voted for a parliament since 2009, with the legislature instead twice extending its own mandate.

The 2009 polls were held under an amended version of the 1960 electoral law and the next elections are scheduled for May 2017.