LF: Unacceptable to Ask Lebanese to Choose between Full Proportional Representation, Extension

Christian Lebanese Forces (LF) supporters wave the group's flags and pictures of LF chief Samir Geagea during a rally staged as a memorial for LF "martyrs" killed during Lebanon's civil war, in the Maronite cathedral in Harissa, north of Beirut, 24 September 2006. Geagea scoffed during the rally attended by tens of thousands at Hezbollah's claims of victory in its devastating conflict with Israel. The rally came two days after Syrian-backed Shiite group Hezbollah held a giant demonstration in Beirut to celebrate "victory" in the July-August war with Israel. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANI / AFP PHOTO / MARWAN NAAMANI

The Lebanese Forces has warned that extending the parliament’s term would pave the way for successive extensions aimed at imposing “the law through which Hizbullah is seeking to realize its objectives.”

“Hizbullah is mistaken if it thinks that it can replicate the course of the presidential elections,” LF sources told al-Joumhouria newspaper in remarks published Wednesday, reiterating that “full proportional representation is rejected.”

The sources confirmed that the LF has endorsed the latest electoral format that has been proposed by Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil and that the party “rejects an extension of parliament’s term if it is not accompanied by an agreement on a new electoral law.”

“Extension without agreeing on a law, under the excuse of avoiding vacuum, would open the door for another extension after six months, and we would eventually move from one extension to another until the parties agree to the conditions of Hizbullah, which wants a law that would allow it to tighten its grip on Lebanon,” the LF sources warned.

The sources however stressed that such a scenario “shall not pass.”

They called on Hizbullah to realize that President Michel Aoun and LF leader Samir Geagea “are keen on rectifying the national imbalance and putting an end to the Syrian implementation of the Taef Accord, which tipped national balances and suspended the constitution and the National Pact with the aim of perpetuating Syrian presence in Lebanon.”

The sources noted that Aoun’s threat to plunge the country into parliamentary vacuum was aimed at “pushing for the drafting of a new law and not going to vacuum for the sake of vacuum.”

“Moreover, it is unacceptable to take the country to extension under the excuse of avoiding vacuum, or to ask the Lebanese to choose between full proportional representation and vacuum,” the LF sources added, reiterating that “full proportional representation is rejected because it would allow the larger communities to control the country’s fate, which would violate the Taef Accord, the constitution and the National Pact.”

“Meanwhile, the objective behind extension is to cripple the tenure of President Aoun and put him before two choices: bowing to the conditions or the paralysis of the country,” the sources added.

“Mistaken are those who think that extension would spare Lebanon a national crisis. The repercussions of such a crisis will affect everyone and walking on the edge of the abyss will subject its plotters and the country to a plunge into the abyss,” the LF sources warned.