Hizbullah has “retracted its support” for a hybrid electoral law that mixes the winner-takes-all and proportional representation systems after realizing that it would give the Lebanese Forces a bigger parliamentary bloc, LF leader Samir Geagea has said.
“Hizbullah’s backpedaling on its support for the hybrid format and its insistence on a law fully based on proportional representation will further complicate the discussions,” Geagea told al-Markazia news agency in an interview published Monday.
“The proposal that was submitted by Minister Jebran Bassil to the four-party panel is one of the best draft laws in terms of rectifying representation and we are not willing to turn back after reaching this draft law in the panel’s meetings,” Geagea added.
Asked whether the change in Hizbullah and AMAL Movement’s stance can be attributed to the Iranian-American tensions in the region, the LF leader said he does not see any “regional aspects.”
“But it seems that as we became on the verge of agreeing on a new law, Hizbullah did its calculations and realized that the LF’s parliamentary bloc will get bigger, that’s why it backpedaled on its support for the hybrid law,” Geagea added, noting that “the LF will have a significant bloc regardless of the law that will be endorsed.”
Commenting on Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s latest call for an electoral law fully based on proportional representation, Geagea noted that such a law would allow Christians to elect “only eight to ten more MPs” with their own votes – “whether it is based on five, nine, 13 or 15 districts” – whereas Bassil’s proposal would give “around 50 seats to the LF-Free Patriotic Movement alliance.”
“Hizbullah is conducting its calculations according to this and it is trying to prevent the Christian duo (LF and FPM) from getting a one-third veto power in parliament. This is the decisive factor in this issue,” Geagea claimed.
“We reject Nasrallah’s proposal and hold onto Minister Bassil’s proposal in the four-party panel or what equals it regarding correct representation,” the LF leader added.