BEIRUT: House Speaker Nabih Berri said in remarks published Tuesday that he would support any electoral law that gains Christian consensus, while Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt continued to voice opposition to the Orthodox Gathering law recently backed by Christian parties.
“I will not oppose the Orthodox Gathering proposal if it gets a Christian consensus, regardless of my opinion,” Berri, who spoke to As-Safir, said.
Lebanon’s four major Christian parties said Monday they agreed to give priority for the Orthodox Gathering draft law for the coming 2013 parliamentary elections.
The decision comes after an expanded meeting was held in Bkirki Sunday to seek approval for the suggestion put forward by the Maronite Church, which advocates that each sect elects its own lawmakers.
The speaker said that his support would be clearly expressed by Amal party MP Ali Bazzi, who will attend the subcommittee meetings.
“Bazzi will voice readiness to accept any proposal the Christians would meet over,” said Berri.
He added that the subcommittee discussing proposals for the electoral law will meet day and night until the participants agree on a draft.
“Their agreement will be referred to the joint committees for further discussions,” Berri pointed out.
However, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt warned Tuesday against the adoption of the Orthodox Gathering proposal, describing it as a “risky adventure.”
“Adopting the Christian proposal has many risks that would lead to extremism and isolation of sects,” Jumblatt, who spoke to As-Safir, said.
Jumblatt also said that the Christian proposal jeopardizes coexistence and the Taif Accord.
The Orthodox Gathering’s proposal was also rejected by former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora who warned that such a law, if adopted, would encourage extremists from all sects and incite clashes among the Lebanese.
The subcommittee discussing an electoral law for the coming elections will resume meetings today, ending a two-month stalemate.