Makari speaks to MP Robert Ghanem in Parliament during the joint committees’ session.
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The first round of talks by joint parliamentary committees on a host of electoral draft laws got off to a gloomy start Tuesday with most lawmakers dismissing the meeting as "a waste of time" as rival factions remain sharply split on a new formula to replace the 1960 voting system.MPs from rival March 8 and March 14 blocs as well as independent lawmakers 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.Deputy Parliament Speaker Farid Makari, who chaired the meeting, said the committees have agreed to confine their discussions at the next session set for Monday to four proposals: a hybrid law, declaring Lebanon as a single electoral district on the basis of proportional representation, declaring each qada as a single district, and a draft law submitted by the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Najib Mikati, which calls for proportional representation and dividing Lebanon into 13 districts.Lebanese Forces MP George Adwan warned against stalling in approving a new electoral law, saying the 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.
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