BEIRUT: The country’s four major Maronite Christian parties said Wednesday they would refrain from running in the upcoming elections under the “1960 law,” while leaving the door open for MPs to reach an alternative to the controversial Orthodox Gathering electoral proposal.
“The parties in attendance decided not to run in the elections based on the ‘1960 law’ because such a law represents injustice toward Christians and it has been rejected by the parties before,” a statement read following a meeting of representatives from the parties said.
The meeting, held at Bkirki and chaired by Maronite Cardinal Patriarch Beshara Rai, gathered Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun, Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh, Lebanese Forces MP George Adwan, Kataeb MP Sami Gemayel as well as FPM MP Alain Aoun.
Adwan and Gemayel represented LF leader Samir Geagea and former President Amin Gemayel – the head of the Kataeb Party - respectively.
The Christian parties also asked Interior Minister Marwan Charbel to stop accepting applications from candidates registering to run in the elections under the “1960 law.”
Their statement comes days after the Progressive Socialist Party said its members would submit applications for candidates seeking to run in the elections, which are due on June 9.
“[The attendees also approved] a grace period to work on a new electoral law that takes into account sound representation and fairness,” the statement said.
It added that the parties would “suspend” the Orthodox Gathering law, which is opposed by the Future Movement, PSP head MP Walid Jumblatt and President Michel Sleiman among others, during the grace period.
“They also affirmed that the elections should be held on time, leaving the [option] for a simple technical delay needed to hold the elections on the basis of a new electoral law,” it said.