Lebanon Elections might be postponed, says Charbel


Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel told LBC television on Sunday that the 2013 parliamentary elections could be postponed if no agreement is reached on a new electoral law and if the security situation in Lebanon is not stable.

“If a new electoral law, other than the current 1960 law, is not agreed upon and the security situation in Lebanon is not stable the elections will probably be either boycotted, extended, or postponed,” Charbel said .

In a related development Charbel told MTV television that there is no doubt Lebanon is being affected “greatly” by the Syrian crisis.

“There is no doubt Lebanon is being affected greatly by what is going on in Syria, but the comforting thing is that when Lebanese [parties] get along, that lessens the Syrian repercussions,” Charbel added.

Lebanon’s Cabinet approved earlier in August a new electoral draft law that called for proportional representation and divided the country into 13 districts as follows: Beirut 2, south Lebanon 2, Bekaa 3, north Lebanon 3 , Mount Lebanon 3.

The new electoral law was approved by the majority of ministers, including the FPM ministers . The ministers that represent Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt’s bloc voted against it.

Even though the FPM ministers voted for the cabinet ‘s electoral law draft, FPM MPs Alain Aoun and Neemtallah Abi Nasr submitted another draft electoral law to the parliament . This is the so called “Greek Orthodox gathering proposal” which calls on each sect in Lebanon to vote only for its candidate in the elections based on proportional representation and one electoral district for the whole country .

March 14 Christian MPs Georges Adwan, Boutros Harb and Sami Gemayel submitted a draft electoral law based on 50 districts and winner take all majority to the Parliament’s General Secretariat last October

Jumblatt and his PSP MPs favor the current 1960 winner take all electoral law.

Lebanon is supposed to hold new parliamentary elections in 2013, but the country’s political circles are divided over the electoral law issue .

Chairman of the Administration and Justice Committee of the Lebanese Parliament MP Robert Ghanem told Al Nahar newspaper in a report published November 11 that it is impossible for the parliament to reach an agreement on a new electoral law for the 2013 elections in light of the divisions and the ambiance of assassinations in Lebanon.

He said the best solution will be to adopt the 1960 electoral law with some modifications and work on an electoral law for the 2017 elections.

But Hezbollah which currently dominates the cabinet rejects the 1960 electoral law.