MP Aoun: Lebanon in 'Stillness' after Failure of Law Proposals
Change and Reform bloc MP Alain Aoun said on Wednesday that Lebanon came into a stage of “stillness” after the failure of a “promising” electoral law proposal that included the creation of senate.
Aoun told al-Joumhouria daily: “The country entered into an electoral stillness after the failure of the senate proposal, which was withdrawn from circulation despite the fact that it was a promising opportunity to save the situation and introduce genuine reforms to the political system.”
“Backpedaling on this proposal took discussions back to square one,” he said, adding that Lebanon is taking “small steps towards the abyss” shall deliberations fail to devise a new electoral law before the end of the parliament's term on June 19.
Political parties are bickering over amending the current majoritarian 1960 election law which divides seats among the different religious sects.
The latest electoral law proposal was presented by Speaker Nabih Berri as part of efforts to resolve the electoral law crisis. It calls for the creation of a senate 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 the 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 law proposal and withdrew it on May 15 after warning political parties that it will not be valid after that date.
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.