Gemayel Rejects All Versions of 1960 Electoral Law

Kataeb Party leader Sami Gemayel voiced his utter rejection on Monday of endorsing the controversial 1960 electoral law for the upcoming parliamentary elections even with an amended version.

“If a new electoral law was not approved this week, we might head towards either the 1960 law or a technical extension of the parliament’s term which we categorically reject,” said Gemayel after a meeting he held with former president Michel Suleiman.

“The 1960 law doesn’t allow new reformist and independent forces to enter the parliament nor secures fair representation,” stressed Gemayel.

The MP described amendments made to the 1960 vote law as a way to redistribute shares among political parties.

“We want a vote law that secures equality among the Lebanese,” he stressed.

Gemayel’s comments came in an indirect criticism for a statement made by Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat who openly called on Sunday for holding the parliamentary polls under a “revised” version of the 1960 vote law, rejecting all calls for proportional representation.

The political parties have intensified their efforts in recent days in a bid to agree on a new electoral law before the expiry of the deadlines.

They are discussing several formats of a so-called “hybrid” electoral law that combines the proportional representation and winner-takes-all systems.

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