Mashnouq Denies Report on Hariri Swap Plan for Premiership
Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq denied on Wednesday media reports claiming that PM Saad Hariri made a deal with President Michel Aoun and Hizbullah that guarantees his endorsement as PM after the parliamentary polls.
Mashnouq said the report claimed the alleged swap would see Hariri accept holding the parliamentary elections under a proportional representation system (agreed by Hizbullah and Aoun) in return for the country's premiership after the polls
“The report is inaccurate, not serious and worthless to reply to” said Mashnouq in a tweet.
“Hariri has his own position because of his parliamentary bloc and the magnitude of his political representation,” added the Minister.
Al-Akhbar daily reported on Wednesday that Hariri is seeking Lebanon's premiership after the parliamentary polls are staged during the summer.
It said the PM would accept in return, Hizbullah's proposal to stage the elections under a proportional representation system seeing Lebanon as one district.
Political parties are bickering over amending the current election law which divides seats among the different religious sects.
Al-Mustaqbal Movement of Hariri 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. Meanwhile, Druze leader MP Walid Jumblat has totally rejected proportional representation, even within a hybrid law, warning that it would “marginalize” the minority Druze community.
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.