Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt sounded upset over the remarks by president Michel Aoun over the electoral law issue .
Aoun announced on Wednesday that he prefers “vacuum” over another extension of the parliament’s term.
“If I have to choose between the extension of parliament’s term or vacuum, my stance is clear in this regard — I will choose vacuum,” TV networks quoted Aoun as saying.
“Where is our potency and credibility should we fail throughout eight years to pass an electoral law although all politicians have agreed that it a new law should be approved?” Aoun reportedly told the Cabinet during its meeting in Baabda today
“It is illogical to say that it is either (Lebanon adopts) proportional representation or let vacuum be,” said Jumblatt in a tweet on Thursday.
“There are many other possibilities other than this unilateral vision. Dialogue is the solution not exclusion,” he added.
Jumblatt has reiterated on more than one occasion that he rejects the proportional representation law , since he active in part of Mt Lebanon and such a law will result in the loss of many MPs for his Democratic Gathering bloc
Aoun’s ally theIranian backed 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-takes- all system . 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 .
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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