BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Future to refer Hariri initiative to Parliament: MP Jisr

MP Samir Jisr attends a meeting at the Parliament in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Future Movement lawmakers will next week refer to Parliament an electoral proposal put forward by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, MP Samir al-Jisr said Saturday.

“The initiative of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri on the elections will be submitted Monday as a draft law to Parliament,” Jisr, who spoke to the LBCI television station, said.

Hariri, who heads the opposition Future Movement, suggested Thursday a four-point plan to end the deadlock over which electoral proposal to adopt in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The former prime minister called for a small-district law for the June elections and for the establishment of a senate representing all religions and sects as stipulated by the Taif Accord.

According to Hariri, electing a senate on the basis of the Orthodox Gathering proposal would address Christian concerns over fair representation.

The former prime minster also called for adopting the provisions of the Taif Accord regarding expanded administrative decentralization and said that the Constitution include the “Baabda Declaration,” which stipulates that Lebanon should be distanced from all regional conflicts.

Jisr voiced Saturday regret over his rivals’ swift rejection to Hariri’s proposal and said establishing a senate would be a prelude to fully applying the Taif Accord.

“The reactions by our political rivals came very quickly. I think they need to think carefully about the proposal before rejecting it,” Jisr said.

He added that the Future Movement would hold contacts with both its allies and rivals over the initiative to convince them of its merits.

Hezbollah and its ally the Free Patriotic Movement rejected Friday Hariri’s initiative while reiterating support for the controversial Orthodox Gathering proposal.

The Orthodox Gathering draft, which has gained consensus among Christian political parties, projects Lebanon as a single electoral district where each of the country’s different sects elect their respective members of Parliament using a system of proportional representation.

Hariri, President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, independent Christian lawmakers and the Progressive Socialist Party oppose the Orthodox Gathering proposal, which they argue is a recipe for entrenching sectarian divisions in the country.

 

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