Geagea Slams Electoral Law Critics, Says It's Not 'Hizbullah's Law'
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Friday strongly defended the new electoral law that was passed by Parliament, while stressing that it is not “Hizbullah's law.”
“I congratulate us all on the new law, especially that it was not at all easy to reach a new law amid the flawed electoral laws that persisted for 25 years, the complications of the Lebanese situation, and the explosion of all of the region's volcanoes,” Geagea said at a press conference.
Lashing out at the critics of the new law, the LF leader lamented that “some parties always insist on negativity and on opening fire indiscriminately at everything without taking into consideration the objective circumstances and the realities on the ground.”
Acknowledging that the law “is not ideal,” Geagea called for “admitting that this is the best we can do amid the Lebanese complications.”
“This law involves a very acceptable correction of the flaw that had marred parliamentary representation in Lebanon,” Geagea boasted.
“Negativity will only harm those practicing it and will disturb the general atmosphere. Some have forgotten that they had agreed to the 15-district proportional representation law in Bkirki's meetings and that they had repeatedly called for this law in the past few months,” Geagea added, apparently referring to Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel.
“To those parties I say: you were part of the consecutive governments, so why didn't you offer a draft law better than the one that was passed today? It is the peak of negativity when you don't accomplish anything and when you attack others if they achieve something,” Geagea added.
He noted that it would not have been possible to reach the new electoral law had it not been for “President Michel Aoun's clear and firm stance, Prime Minister Saad Hariri's great positivity... and the Lebanese Forces' smart and effective plan of action that was led by MP George Adwan.”
Dismissing claims that the new law is “tailored” to fit the interests of the LF and the Free Patriotic Movement, Geagea said the two parties possessed the ability to “win all Christian seats in Lebanon under the 1960 law.”
“But we rejected that and the new law is a law that is against the interests of big parties,” Geagea added.
He added: “This law is not Hizbullah's law, seeing as Hizbullah's law was proportional representation in a single electoral district.”
Geagea also pointed out that “this law was made in Lebanon.”
“This is the first time that we get an electoral law that is 'made in Lebanon',” the LF leader boasted.
Earlier in the day, the parliament approved a long-awaited electoral law after months of political wrangling.
The law paves the way for the first parliamentary elections in nine years.
The deal comes after a stalemate that has seen the country's parliament extend its term twice since the last elections in 2009.
Under the agreement, the current parliament's term will be extended once again, but this time for just 11 months to prepare for elections under the new rules in May 2018.
The new law replaces the existing winner-takes-all voting system with proportional representation and reduces the number of electoral districts.