The Progressive Socialist Party warned on Sunday that sectarian electoral laws may eventually lead to a political and geographic partitioning of Lebanon.
“Proposing some laws that are based on sectarian segregation is the beginning of partitioning in Lebanon. Today we are speaking of electoral segregation in Lebanon and who knows perhaps in the future we will start speaking of political and geographic partitioning,” MP Wael Abu Faour a key PSP member warned
“This approach leads to the partition of Lebanon and this is something that we can never accept,” the PSP official added, noting that “Iraq is divided, Syria is on the path of partitioning, Palestine is partitioned, so what prevents the winds of partitioning from reaching Lebanon?”
“What is being proposed is not a technical choice but rather a segregationist choice, that’s why we cannot accept the approach of segregation,”he added.
Free Patriotic Movement chief Gebran Bassil proposed recently a hybrid electoral law the so called ‘qualification law’ .
In the first round, voting takes place in the current 26 districts ( as per the 1960 law) and voters can only vote for the candidates of their own sect . Two candidates for each sectarian seat qualify for the second round during which voting would take place in 10 newly-defined electoral districts and according to a non-sectarian proportional representation polling system.
The electoral system t determines how votes are translated into seats and therefore, how the sectarian/political elite predetermine their shares.
Bassil also called for the creation of a Senate
But Abu Faour dismissed Bassil’s call for establishing of a Senate :
“The new debate about the Senate might become a gateway to sedition, firstly about the powers of the Senate and secondly about the presidency of the Senate.” He said
“Being the party that is most concerned with the Senate’s presidency, we say that we will not be dragged into an additional controversy over it. There is no need to create another sectarian conflict over the presidency and powers of the Senate,” Abu Faour added
In Lebanon the president should be a Maronite Christian, the PM should a be a Sunni Muslim and the Speaker a Shiite Muslim . The Taif accord called for the creation of a Senate that should be headed by a member of the Druze community. Since PSP is headed by MP Walid Jumblatt , a Druze leader , it has always been assumed that if a Senate is established it will be headed by a PSP member . But according to PSP’s MP Ghazi Aridi a senate should be created after abolishing Political Sectarianism and electing the parliament on non sectarian basis:
” Creating the Senate requires a long path beginning with the establishment of the National Commission for the Abolition of Political Sectarianism, then the abolition of political sectarianism and then parliamentary elections on a national basis to the Senate.” Aridi was quoted as saying following a recent meeting at the ministry of foreign affairs to discuss the electoral law
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