BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Mikati says no need for 'ruckus' over electoral law

Mikati chats with Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi and Minister of State Ahmad Karami ahead of a Cabinet session.

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Najib Mikati hit back at his critics in the Future Movement in remarks Thursday, saying that their negative reaction to the electoral law approved by the Cabinet earlier this week was unjustified, given that Parliament still needs to endorse it.

“The vehement reaction on the part of the Future Movement regarding the Cabinet's approval of proportional representation and 13 districts is not justified and not understood because the proposal has not been put into effect,” Mikati told As-Safir.

Mikati expressed the belief that the Cabinet’s approval represented a starting point for a democratic debate on the law.

“There was no need for this ruckus,” he maintained.

The Lebanese government approved a draft electoral law Tuesday based on proportional representation and 13 districts for the 2013 polls. The decision was met with harsh reactions by head of the Future Movement and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Hariri said earlier this week that the draft law was directed against the majority of Lebanese and vowed to block its endorsement in Parliament, accusing the government of drafting a law to suit Hezbollah.

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt also criticized the law. Jumblatt had said earlier that the law is unfair to some sects.

In his interview, Mikati also characterized the reaction as “hysteria” that hits some people only because the Cabinet approved a law.

“All they want is my resignation and for the government to become a caretaker one so that it does not achieve anything,” the prime minister said.

He added that the law is now in the hands of Parliament and that those objecting to it should gather the needed majority of MPs to either change or amend it.

 

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