Parliament Deputy Speaker Farid Makari (left, bottom row) speaks to MP Robert Ghanem in the Lebanese Parliament, Beirut, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Lebanon's joint parliamentary committees Tuesday launched discussions on a host of electoral draft laws following a request by Speaker Nabih Berri last week to replace the unpopular 1960 voting system.Politicians agreed on dividing discussions over the new law into three categories: a hybrid law, which includes a proportional voting system as well as the present winner-take-all system, a law based on proportional representation, and a law based on Lebanon being a single constituency."Discussions for Monday's meeting will be narrowed down to the size of the constituencies and four proposals," Makari said. He added that FPM MP Neamatallah Abi Nasr proposed to raise the number of MPs from 128 to 140, where 12 lawmakers would represent the Lebanese diaspora.Lebanese Forces MP George Adwan said during a press conference that the current 1960 law was preventing MPs from being held accountable if needed, and that it was illogical to return to that system after years of discussion.The three parties had proposed during deliberations a hybrid law, whereby 60 MPs would be elected on the basis of proportional representation, and the remaining 68 MPs on a winner-take-all system.MP Ibrahim Kanaan, who belongs to the FPM, called on lawmakers to revisit the Orthodox law.
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