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Charbel says has backup electoral draft law

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Saturday, July 28, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said in remarks Tuesday that he has prepared an alternative electoral draft law in the event Parliament fails to agree on a law approved by the Cabinet.

“I still support endorsing the electoral law based on proportional representation and 13 electoral districts, but if no agreement is reached on such a proposal in Cabinet, I have got another draft law ready,” Charbel told As-Safir newspaper.

He said the new electoral law is based on both the winner-takes-all and proportional representation system .

Explaining the draft law, the Lebanese official said his new proposal would take place in two stages.

“In the first stage, Lebanese citizens cast their votes for candidates from their own sect, and in the second stage, they choose among the candidates who won in the first round,” said Charbel.

Cabinet approved in August an electoral law based on proportional representation and 13 electoral districts for the 2013 parliamentary elections. The Cabinet proposal seeks to replace the 1960 electoral law, which was based on a majority system.

However, the decision has been rejected by the opposition and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt.

The March 14 coalition has proposed an electoral law based on 50 small-sized districts in a winner-takes-all system.

The Change and Reform parliamentary bloc of Michel Aoun, a member in the March 8 coalition, has presented a draft law in which every sect would be able to elect its own MP through a proportional representation system with Lebanon as a single district.

A parliamentary subcommittee is trying to reach consensus on what law to adopt for the upcoming elections.

 

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