Hariri Meets Berri over Electoral Law, New Wage Scale

Prime Minister Saad Hariri held talks Monday in Ain el-Tineh with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

State-run National News Agency said talks tackled “the electoral juncture, the electoral law and the political and social situations including the new wage scale.”

According to al-Jadeed television, Berri and Hariri continued their talks over a dinner banquet.

Hariri had held talks earlier in the day with President Michel Aoun after which he announced that his al-Mustaqbal Movement is “open to all the electoral laws that have been proposed.”

Earlier in the day, Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq announced that Lebanon will have a new electoral law within a month, noting that it will inevitably contain a proportional representation component.

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

Hizbullah has repeatedly called for an electoral law fully based on proportional representation but Mustaqbal and Druze leader MP Walid Jumblat had both voiced reservations.

Mustaqbal has argued that Hizbullah’s arms would prevent serious competition in the party’s strongholds while Jumblat has warned that such an electoral system would “marginalize” the minority Druze community whose presence is concentrated in the Chouf and Aley areas.

The political parties are meanwhile discussing a so-called hybrid electoral law that mixes proportional representation with the winner-takes-all system.