Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - Aug. 9, 2012

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Thursday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.


Future Movement says election plan targets Sunnis

Mikati: Parliament will decide

While Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea was careful in opposing the election plan, the Future Movement continued its vehement campaign against the draft law, accusing Prime Minister Najib Mikati of laxity in defending Sunnis.

Prominent sources in the Future Movement told As-Safir that the draft law, approved by Cabinet earlier this week, was directed against the Sunnis in general, and not just against former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

The sources said the draft law gives the Shiites a majority vote that was distributed in a way that supports Hezbollah allies.


March 14 calls for “everlasting peace” between the Lebanese based on the Taif Accord on the eve of Assad’s fall

Christians reject “Iran’s election law” [for Lebanon]

It became clear in light of the series of reactions to the draft “Iranian election law” approved by Cabinet that it will not be passed in Parliament following several “obituaries,” particularly that from Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, who rejected the law which [he said] “serves the interests of the March 8 camp.”

Geagea’s remarks coincided with a statement by Kataeb MP Sami Gemayel that “the law is rejected because it contradicts what has been agreed upon in the Bkirki Committee.”

MP Butros Harb, for his part, said the electoral draft law was a “clear translation of Iranian-Syrian policy in Lebanon.”

In parallel, all eyes are turned to Bkirki, which is expected to issue a stance on the draft election law following a meeting next week to assess what Cabinet has approved.


March 14 encircles government’s election plan, readies alternative with Jumblatt

Sleiman differentiates between proportional representation and districts as Bkirki Committee struggles to stay [relevant]

An electoral draft law approved by Cabinet earlier this week assumed political dimensions that went beyond the content of the election plan and resulted in political rhetoric.

It became certain that the draft election law lacks a parliamentary majority that would enable it to be passed by Parliament.

The election plan is closer to an initial draft law where it would be subject to political and parliamentary debate that would pave the way for crucial amendments or develop into an alternative law.

The draft law, in its current formula, has led March 14 political leaders to go on political alert in a manner unprecedented since the fall of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. There was a consensus among March 14, particularly its Christian leaders, in rejecting the draft law.

Prominent sources in the opposition told An-Nahar that the majority forces have fallen into the trap that they had set for March 14 forces with the aim of weakening it and incapacitating its pillars.

The sources said the draft law is doomed to fail in light of the strong alliance, at least on this matter, between March 14 and MP Walid Jumblatt.

March 14 is readying a unified electoral law in coordination with Jumblatt.


Pay scale end of the month

The government focused on social and developmental issues Wednesday, putting forth practical proposals for the development of Baalbek-Hermel and resolving the issue of the salary scale.

Meanwhile, public circles and the media were busy with the Lebanese hostages who fear they could face the same fate as that of Imam Musa Sadr.

A ministerial committee tasked with resolving the pay scale issue finalized the figures Wednesday.

Committee member and Cabinet Minister Panos Manjenian said the pay scale is likely to be approved by the end of August.





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