BEIRUT: Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri Wednesday referred to Cabinet the electoral proposal recently put forward by the Future Movement.
“I referred to Cabinet the Future Movement proposal on dividing electoral districts to have a say about it before referring it to the joint committees,” Berri told lawmakers during a weekly meeting in his Ain al-Tineh residence Wednesday.
The speaker added that the second part of the proposal, related to amending Article 22 of the constitution and establishing a Senate, will have to wait for March 19, when the first cycle of Parliament begins.
The opposition Future Movement put forward Monday a proposal that divides the country into 37 electoral districts using a winner-takes-all system.
The Future Movement draft law is based on a four-point-initiative that was announced by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri last week. It also calls for the establishment of a senate representing all religions and sects as stipulated in the Taif Accord.
Hariri also called for adopting the provisions of the Taif Accord regarding expanded administrative decentralization and said that the Constitution’s preamble incorporate the “Baabda Declaration,” an agreement arrived at in 2012 by the country’s rival political parties to distance the country from all regional conflicts.
A Future delegation visited Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea Wednesday afternoon to discuss the party’s proposal.
The delegation included lawmakers Ahmad Fatfat, Nabil De Freige, Jean Ogassapian, Atef Majdalani as well as Hariri’s advisor Mohammad Chatah.
In remarks published earlier Wednesday, Berri said that he hasn’t finished reading through the Future proposal to decide on it.
Berri, who spoke to As-Safir newspaper, also said that an electoral proposal referred by the Cabinet to Parliament last year would be fairer for Christians than the Future proposal.
The speaker argued that the Cabinet’s electoral proposal would allow Christians to vote 48 members of Parliament at least.
Future MP Ahmad Fatfat said last week that his group’s proposal would allow Christians to elect 48 representatives to the country’s legislature.
“Why don’t we go back to the government's proposal that gives Christians the opportunity to elect 48-52 lawmakers?” asked the speaker.
The Cabinet draft electoral law that was referred to Parliament in 2012 is more in line with Lebanon’s Constitution than a proposal recently put forward by the Future Movement, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said in remarks published Wednesday.
“Why don’t they accept the Cabinet proposal which is more in line with the Taif Accord in dividing electoral districts?” Berri said, referring to Lebanon’s amended 1990 Constitution.
The Cabinet’s electoral bill, which is based on proportional representation and divides Lebanon into 13-medium-sized districts, was endorsed by the government in September 2012.