Change and Reform bloc MP Ibrahim Kanaan revealed that the Orthodox Gathering electoral law has been referred to the parliament bureau for discussion, after the joint parliamentary committees convened on Tuesday to study various electoral draft-laws.
This prompted former Lebanese President Michel Suleiman to tweet : “The Orthodox law violates the constitution in every way.”
The proposed electoral law calls for each sect to elect its own MPs under a proportional representation system based on a nationwide district.
The proposed law had faced severe criticism in the past from the Future Movement bloc and MP Walid Jumblatt’s Democratic Gathering bloc .
Three other draft-laws were also addressed during Tuesday’s meeting.
They are the hybrid law, proportional law, and majority law.
The committees will hold another meeting on Monday.
Speaker Nabih Berri had tasked the committees with addressing some 17 draft-laws ahead of holding a legislative session to approve one of them.
About the proposed laws
In 2006, the government-appointed National Commission for a New Electoral Law, known as the Boutros Commission, authored a draft law that proposed major changes to the 1960 electoral system, but the recommendations have since been shelved.
The Boutros Commission called for a hybrid electoral law, under which 77 of Parliament’s 128 members would be elected by winner-take-all, and the remaining 51 members would be elected by proportional representation.
Lebanon’s Cabinet approved in August 2012 an electoral draft law which is referred to as the Charbel law ( in reference to Interior minister Marwan Charbel ) 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 proposed electoral law was approved by the majority of ministers, including the Free Patriotic Movement Ministers (FPM) . However the 3 ministers that represent Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt’s bloc voted against it.
FPM MPs Alain Aoun and Neemtallah Abi Nasr submitted in 2013 to the parliament 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 one electoral district for the whole country .
1960 electoral law
This is the current law which is based on the Qada( county) as the electoral district.
Jumblatt and his PSP MPs still favor this 1960 majoritarian (or “winner take all”) system, but some lebanese politicians reject this law and call it unfair