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The Daily Star
SUNDAY, 20 APR 2014
04:00 AM Beirut time
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MP Qanso proposes anti-sectarian electoral law
File photo of Baalbek MP Assem Qanso during a press conference at Parliament in Beirut, Lebanon. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
File photo of Baalbek MP Assem Qanso during a press conference at Parliament in Beirut, Lebanon. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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BEIRUT: Baath party MP Assem Qanso submitted a draft electoral law to Parliament Wednesday that addresses what he described as a “sectarian crisis” gripping Lebanon.

Qanso said the “natural and safe” method to bring the necessary change in the political system was an electoral law based on the principles of freedom from sectarian restrictions, a single electoral district, closed lists, and the lowering of the voting age and the age of candidates eligible to run.

The Baalbek-Hermel MP blasted “this horrible sectarian system which has brought crises and successive wars to Lebanon” and said his proposal was a solution and not an opinion.

Qanso also criticized the “sectarian-based” electoral proposals that have been put forth by the various political parties in the country.

“These proposals ... are based on sectarianism and will take our children and future generations to new wars and divisions in Lebanese society,” Qanso said.

Meanwhile, the subcommittee dealing with electoral proposals convened Wednesday morning to examine a hybrid election law that combines proportional representation with a winner-takes-all system.

The head of the subcommittee, MP Robert Ghanem, told reporters that the lawmakers discussed a proposal submitted by PSP MP Akram Shehayeb.

Ghanem said the subcommittee would resume its meeting Wednesday afternoon to debate a proposal brought forward by MP Amal Movement MP Ali Bazzi.

Lebanon’s parliamentary elections are due to be held in early June.

Ghanem said Tuesday that discussions among committee members were positive that there was a possibility that consensus could be reached on the hybrid electoral law.

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