BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman urged the government over the weekend to promptly implement electoral and administrative reforms, saying it was the best way to improve democracy in Lebanon.
Before visiting with delegations at the president’s summer residence in Beiteddine, Sleiman stressed that the approval of a modern electoral law that guarantees a just representation of Lebanese factions would top the government’s agenda.
He also highlighted the role of administrative reforms as an important factor in economic development, particularly administrative decentralization which directly affects economic growth and rural development.
“Administrative decentralization eases burdens on citizens and promotes balanced development by boosting the role of municipal and local authorities around the country,” Sleiman said.
The president was speaking before a delegation from Deir al-Qamar union of municipalities and a delegation of mukhtars from the mostly Druze region of Aley, whose members stressed the importance of promoting national coexistence.
The president said Lebanon’s true salvation would require unity among its factions as the only guarantee to safeguard the country against any threats.
A new electoral law based on proportional representation for the 2013 parliamentary elections would be presented to Parliament in late September, Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said last week.
Charbel has formed a committee to draft an electoral law, promising to take into consideration reforms previously put forward.
Sleiman has voiced support for the adoption of an electoral law based on proportional representation in a bid to guarantee minorities representation.
However, some political leaders, including Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt, have expressed their objection to the proportional representation system.
Elections in Lebanon have so far been held on the basis of a winner-takes-all system.
A committee headed by former Foreign Minister Fouad Butros and appointed by the government in 2006 released a draft law later that year suggesting a combination between a proportional and majority-based system.