Lebanon News

FPM MP submits candidacy for June polls

Lebanese lawmaker Ziad Aswad gestures upon his arrival at the Parliament building in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. (Mahmoud Kheir/The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: MP Ziad Aswad, from MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform parliamentary bloc, submitted Thursday his request to run in the June parliamentary elections under the controversial the 1960 law.

“I filed my request at the Interior Ministry and other candidates from the Free Patriotic Movement are expected to submit their requests between today and tomorrow,” Aswad told The Daily Star.

Aoun, who heads the Free Patriotic Movement, said earlier this week that despite opposition to the 1960 law, party members would file requests “to avoid having to face any urgent situation.”

Aswad, a Jezzine MP, said that his group still opposed the divisive law and that candidates would withdraw their applications if there was an agreement not to hold the polls under the 1960 law.

“As Gen. Aoun said before, we are doing that just so that we do not find ourselves facing any surprises and if there was an agreement over a new law or to extend Parliament’s term, we will withdraw our requests,” he said.

The Interior Ministry resumed Monday accepting applications from people wishing to run under the 1960 law and will keep on receiving requests until May 27.

Only a small number of requests by hopeful MPs have been filed to the ministry, including those of MP Walid Jumblatt’s Progressive Socialist Party candidates.

The recent failure of MPs to reach a deal over an electoral law has in effect left the country with two alternatives: the extension of Parliament’s term or holding the elections based on the current 1960 law.

An amended version of the 1960 law was adopted in the 2009 parliamentary elections but the majority of the political blocs are refusing to adopt it for this year's polls.





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