Lebanon's President Michel Aoun heads a cabinet session at the presidential palace in Baabda, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. (The Daily Star/Dalati&Nohra, HO)
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A four-party committee is racing against time to agree on a new vote law ahead of the Feb. 21 deadline for the upcoming parliamentary elections, official sources said Sunday, as political rivals focus their deliberations on a hybrid formula that blends provisions from the proportional and winner-take-all systems.However, a senior political source sounded pessimistic about an imminent deal over a hybrid vote law because of the wide gap between the rival factions over what system to adopt for elections slated for May.Youth and Sports Minister Mohammad Fneish, one of two Hezbollah ministers, said the quadripartite committee was striving to narrow differences over a new vote law.Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea sounded upbeat about the outcome of the committee's deliberations, predicting an accord on a hybrid vote law soon to replace the 1960 system.MP Antoine Zahra from the LF also said he expected a hybrid vote law to be approved by Parliament in mid-February and elections to be technically delayed for six or seven months to pave the way for the implementation of the new legislation.
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