Report: FPM, LF Say Berri's Law Proposal Was a 'Maneuver'
Some Christian political parties have accused Speaker Nabih Berri of “maneuvering” when he first proposed the creation of senate as part of a new parliamentary electoral law, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Tuesday.
“Berri's suggestion to create a senate was merely a superficial maneuver because he retracted his proposal, under the pretext of expiration of deadlines, after the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces agreed to it,” FPM and LF sources told the daily on condition of anonymity.
“The Speaker has also rejected allotting the presidency of the senate to a Christian after we were informed of his approval. He also insisted on maintaining equality between the Muslims and Christians in the parliament without taking sectarian quotas into consideration,” they added.
“The introduction of a senate could have been the way out, everyone was ready to go along with it after the introduction of changes,” they added, assuring that the LF and FPM will not backtrack on supporting the creation of a senate, which they “initially agreed on as a prelude to discussing a proportional representation system, being one of the assurances required for parity,” they said.
As part of efforts to resolve the electoral law crisis, Speaker Nabih Berri proposed the creation of a senate that calls for forming a body consisted of 32 Muslim senators and 32 Christian senators and for allocating its presidency to the Druze community.
Berri's proposal calls for electing a senate under a sectarian voting electoral system and a parliament under an electoral law fully based on proportional representation.
However, Berri set a deadline for his offer and said it would become invalid after May 15.
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.