Lebanon News

Kanaan says discussion should resume on electoral law

Future MP Atef Majdalani, right, and FPM MP Ibrahim Kanaan leave after a meeting at the Parliament in Beirut, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Change and Reform bloc MP Ibrahim Kanaan Tuesday called on lawmakers to resume work on a new electoral law, saying Parliament can pass a draft law even amid a presidential void.

"When Parliament extended its mandate, it was done on the basis that talks would continue to prepare a new electoral law so that we wouldn't reach a point of another extension," Kanaan told reporters after the bloc's weekly meeting.

"Until this day, nothing has been done in this regard."

He said it was necessary to discuss and pass a new law, otherwise, the country would be faced with another extension.

"An electoral law is an exceptional proposal that Parliament is allowed to pass in light of a presidential vacuum," he said.

In March of last year, lawmakers approved a law extending their mandate by 17 months after political parties failed to come to an agreement on an electoral law and in light of the deteriorating security situation in the country. The Change and Reform bloc voted against the extension.

Christian lawmakers have rejected the 1960s election law, which is currently in effect.

Kanaan also spoke about the issue of Lebanese who fled to Israel in 2000 after the Jewish state withdraw from south Lebanon, saying the matter was resolved by Parliament in 2011.

"I will remind you of Law 149, which was presented by MP Michel Aoun and approved in 2011,” he said, adding that the law ruled out treating these people as agents of the Jewish state.

"I think we should stop this commotion surrounding this issue ... because we all know why these people went to Israel,” he said.

Hezbollah criticized Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai after he meet with Lebanese families who had fled to Israel and vowed to help them return, during his controversial trip to the Holy Land.





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