Lebanon News

Civil society rejects extended mandate for Parliament

Despite popular demand, electoral reform will not be in the horizon in 2013.

BEIRUT: The Civil Campaign for Electoral Reform slammed Parliament Monday over the possible extension of its mandate, warning against a political environment that appears to be leaning toward extension.

“All [indicators] point toward a new extension, confirming again that the political elite in Lebanon do not care for the nation or for citizens residing in it,” said the CCER.

The report stated that this time around officials have learned to tackle extension laws months before the mandate is set to end, a break from the previous year’s last minute extension following Parliament’s failure to set a new electoral law.

In an occurrence that is becoming habit, Parliament will appoint MP Nicolas Fattoush to prep an extension law draft and submit it to Parliament, the report said, referring to media leaks that cite Fattoush’s appointment.

“The ballot box is a place where the citizen is free to express his opinion of you [MPs], so if you close off the boxes to citizens, what is left?” asked the CCER.

The civil movement urged officials to use the remainder of the extension period to set a new electoral law before August 18 -- the date in which elections should be called, or hold elections on time using the “current fruitless electoral law.”

The Lebanese Constitution requires election to be held by November 16, 2014.

Lebanon’s Parliament extended its mandate by a period of 17 months in May of last year, when elections had been set for June 2013.





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