Qassem: 1960 Vote Law Still in Force


MP Qassem Hashem stressed on Friday that efforts to ease obstacles preventing an agreement on a new voting system are ongoing, stressing that Lebanon's current 1960 electoral law was still in effect "whether we like it or not".

“The 1960 law is still in force whether we like it or not,” said Hashem in an interview to the VDL (93.3).

The MP called on Lebanon's political parties to seek settlement that would preserve the internal scene and fortify the country, away from personal political interests.

Hashem warned from reaching the set deadlines without agreeing on a new electoral law in hand, “vacuum (at the legislative authority) could push the country into a state of chaos,” he warned.

"The observations that have been given on the electoral formats are substantial; however, they carry a sectarian rather than a national character,” remarked the lawmaker.

Parliamentary elections are supposed to be held in May, and political parties are still bickering over amending the current 1960 majoritarian election law which divides seats among the different religious sects.

Several law formats have been suggested and they include a proportional representation system, the qualification law, the Orthodox law, several forms of hybrid laws and many other but none garnered approval of all parties.

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.

The parliament's term ends on June 20.