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Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk Friday signed a decree setting a date for parliamentary elections, sending the strongest signal yet about the government's determination to hold Lebanon's first polls in nine years on time and dispelling fears of any new extension of Parliament's mandate.The decision was made during one of the regular meetings chaired by Machnouk and attended by senior administrative and technical employees at the Interior Ministry devoted to making preparations for parliamentary elections. The elections, Lebanon's first since 2009, will be held under a new vote law based on proportional representation – with Lebanon divided into 15 electoral districts – that was ratified by Parliament on June 19 .In approving the new vote law to replace the controversial 1960 majoritarian system used in the last elections in 2009, lawmakers again extended Parliament's term for 11 months to give the state time to prepare for the polls based on the new system, which involves the use of magnetic cards.
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