BEIRUT: MP Robert Ghanem, the chairman of Parliament’s Justice and Administration Committee, met with Speaker Nabih Berri Thursday to discuss the work of a parliamentary subcommittee studying a new electoral law.
Ghanem, from the opposition March 14 coalition, will chair the subcommittee’s meeting scheduled to be held in Parliament next Tuesday substituting for Deputy Speaker Farid Makari who is out of the country.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting held at Berri’s residence in Ain al-Tineh, Ghanem said: “In light of his [Berri’s] meetings with all the parties, we hope that with the ability of the subcommittee members and all sincere people in this country we will be able to reach some sort of a common ground among all the parties who will meet Tuesday – not a solution to the [electoral law] issue, because the solution lies with Parliament.”
“This country deserves to work for it and to always try to avert the dangers and challenges we are facing and we will be facing during this year,” Ghanem added.
Ghanem urged March 8 and March 14 parties to exert efforts aimed at reaching “solutions that can help Lebanon overcome dangers surrounding it.”
His remarks came a day after Berri called for cooperation by the rival factions to agree on a new electoral law amid a widening gap over which legislation best guarantees fair representation in this year’s crucial parliamentary polls.
The parliamentary subcommittee, which includes MPs from the March 8 and March 14 parties, will resume discussions on a new electoral law Tuesday after a suspension of its meetings for more than two months.
Formed in early October, the subcommittee was tasked with studying the type of electoral system and the distribution of districts in the absence of Cabinet members or representatives.
Work on a new election law was halted in October after opposition lawmakers boycotted parliamentary committees’ meetings as part of their boycott of the government following the Oct. 19 assassination of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, who headed the police’s Information Branch.
In addition to the type of the electoral system and the size of electoral districts, the subcommittee will also discuss a Cabinet proposal for increasing the number of Parliament members from the current 128 to 134 to allot six seats for Lebanese expatriates, Future bloc MP Ahmad Fatfat, a subcommittee member, told The Daily Star.