BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Berri dismisses 50 districts electoral law

This file photo shows Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri at his summer house in Msaileh. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

BEIRUT: Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri dismissed in comments Wednesday the March 14 coalition’s elections proposal which would see Lebanon divided into 50 small-sized electoral districts in the 2013 polls.

“The 50 districts electoral law is definitely a failed [proposal],” Berri said in remarks to Al-Joumhouria published Wednesday.

He also warned that some parties were wasting time, citing the lack of approval of a new elections law to replace the current one based on the 1960s law.

“Some parties are trying to procrastinate adopting a new law to keep the current one. As the elections’ date becomes closer, the 1960 law will become de facto,” Berri said.

Lawmakers from the joint parliamentary committees have failed in four sessions to bridge the wide gap between the rival factions over a new election law. The committees are scheduled to resume their deliberations Thursday over at least three draft electoral laws.

The 1960 law, used in the 2009 polls, adopts the administrative unit of the qada as the so-called “small” electoral district and is based on a winner-takes-all system.

It has been rejected by major parties in the country.

Meanwhile, Progressive Socialist Party head Walid Jumblatt, who has a share in the Lebanese government, leans toward an amended version of the pre-Civil War 1960 legislation.

 

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