BEIRUT: The Lebanese Forces oppose the government’s electoral proposal, the head of the Christian political party said in remarks published Wednesday, and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri warned that the a continuing deterioration of the security situation could lead to the postponement of the elections.
“Returning to the Cabinet draft law would be a big blow to all efforts and negotiations aimed at reaching a new law. It would be like going back to square one,” Geagea, who spoke to Al-Akhbar newspaper, said.
His comments come days after MP Walid Jubmlatt said he would back an amended form of the Cabinet-endorsed draft.
The government’s electoral draft divides Lebanon into 13 electoral districts under a proportional representation system.
Geagea also denied reports that a deal had been reached over the Cabinet law in which the number of electoral districts would be increased from 13 to 15.
Jumblatt, who heads the Progressive Socialist Party, described over the weekend that the Cabinet proposal as “good” and said it could be modified and adopted for the coming parliamentary elections.
In his comments to Al-Akhbar, the LF leader also stressed that the elections scheduled for June 9 should be held on time.
“All parties need to take this factor into consideration and speed up in making their stances clear or else they will be contributing directly or indirectly to the collapse of the elections,” he said.
He also said talks on a new electoral law should pick up from where the parliamentary subcommittee’s discussions left off, either the hybrid formula as proposed by the LF or Berri.
Berri’s plan calls for 64 MPs to be elected based on a winner-takes-all system, with the rest being voted in under proportional representation. The LF’s proposal also relies on both voting systems with the distribution of districts as used in what is known as the Fouad Boutros proposal.
According to the LF leader, discussions among parties should focus on a formula for a hybrid electoral law that combines the winner-takes-all and proportional representation systems.
Meanwhile, Berri slammed in remarks published Wednesday the deteriorating security in the country and said it would be difficult for the polls to be held on time if the state fails to remedy the situation.
“The state’s prestige is at stake and if this state of lawlessness goes on then farewell to the parliamentary elections,” said Berri.
“Holding the elections on time requires reassuring political and security conditions,” he added.
Deputy Speaker Farid Makari, who also spoke to Al-Akhbar, voiced doubt that the elections would be held on time, arguing that Hezbollah had no interest in holding the polls in light of the ongoing crisis in neighboring Syria.
“No one wants the elections, maybe only [Future Movement leader] Saad Hariri is the one who wants them,” he told Al-Akhbar daily.
“The Syrian situation is uncomfortable for Hezbollah,” said Makari.
“Things are better for the party now as the current government is its Cabinet,” he added.