Jumblat Suggests Electoral Law ‘Ideas’ in Meeting with Berri

Druze leader MP Walid Jumblat held talks Monday in Ain el-Tineh with Speaker Nabih Berri during which he proposed new “ideas” regarding the electoral law.

“I put at Speaker Nabih Berri’s disposal some feasible ideas that can be discussed to overcome the electoral law dilemma,” said Jumblat after the meeting.

“Walid Jumblat and the diverse people of Mount Lebanon have no fears and I’m sleeping well at night,” Jumblat added sarcastically.

Answering a reporter’s question, Jumblat said Hizbullah chief “Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s remarks carried further reassurance.”

“We thank them and we are with him in this approach,” he added.

Nasrallah had on Sunday described the winner-takes-all electoral system as an “exclusionary law,” noting that proportional representation “does not eliminate Druze, the Progressive Socialist Party or al-Mustaqbal Movement.”

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

Hizbullah, Mustaqbal, AMAL Movement, the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces are meanwhile discussing several formats of a so-called hybrid law.

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.