The Free Patriotic Movement warned Monday of “ revolution” should the political forces fail to agree on a new electoral law to replace the so called 1960 law.
“Failure to pass a new electoral law that ensures correct representation will impede the entire political life in the country, because the electoral law is the pillar of political stability and the main gateway for building the State,” FPM’s political bureau said in a statement issued after its monthly meeting under FPM leader and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.
FPM urged all parties concerned to ensure the approval of a new law in order to holding the parliamentary election on time.
“Any further delay would mean that this course is being halted and the FPM will not tolerate this and will confront it through its political and popular strength,” it went on to say.
FPM’ also cautioned against holding the elections under the 1960 law or seeking a third extension of the incumbent parliament’s term stressing that this could lead to a revolution .
This development comes after Speaker Nabih Berri and Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq announced that the country is likely headed to parliamentary elections under the 1960 electoral law due to the parties’ failure to agree on a new law.
Hezbollah has repeatedly called for an electoral law fully based on proportional representation but other political parties, especially the Future Movement, have rejected the proposal and argued that the party’s controversial arsenal of arms would prevent serious competition in regions where the Iran-backed party has clout.In 2013 Lebanese Forces and The Future Movement backed by the PSP agreed on a hybrid electoral law which calls for 54% of the MPs to be elected under the majoritarian winner-takes-all system and 46 % under the proportional representation system. This draft law was rejected by the Hezbollah-led March 8 opposition.
Also in 2013 Future Movement leader PM Saad Hariri rejected the electoral law that is based on proportional representation because there will be competition in some regions, but there cannot be any competition in other regions, because of the presence of Hezbollah weapons in them.
Hariri was referring to the 2009 election in the areas dominated by Hezbollah. According to the reports that surfaced back then Hezbollah gunmen prevented their rivals from voting and the results of the election showed it. On the other hand in the March 14 dominated areas several Hezbollah backed candidates won the election that was based on winner take all . In a proportional representation system Hezbollah will be able to gain more seats in the March 14 dominated areas but will not lose any seats in its dominated areas as long as it is allowed to keep its arms and use them internally for political gain .
According to analysts Hezbollah wants to dominate Lebanon by insisting on adopting the proportional law in a single or several expanded electoral districts.
The country has not voted for a parliament since 2009, with the legislature instead twice extending its own mandate.
The 2009 polls were held under an amended version of the 1960 electoral law and the next elections are scheduled for May 2017.
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