Chances for Lebanon's parliamentary elections to be staged in accordance with the electoral law in force (the 1960) have grown, after political parties failed to agree on a new voting system to rule the May polls, media reported on Friday.

However, political forces insist that a new voting system can be “born” within a few days despite the fact that efforts have failed for many years to devise one, added the reports.

The country has not organized parliamentary elections since 2009 and the legislature has instead twice extended its own mandate.

The last polls were held under an amended version of the 1960 electoral law.

Sources following up on the file told the media: “Law formats that have been suggested so far were only to pass time. Serious discussions are focusing on finding a legal way to return to the 1960 electoral law, given that everyone is in trouble.”

They pointed out that President Michel Aoun might be “compelled to call for staging the election based on the law in force,” to avoid vacuum or an extension of the parliament's term.

For its part, Loyalty to Resistance bloc said after its periodic meeting on Thursday: “Accepting the proportional representation system by all parties is a positive indicator,” urging for an agreement within the short time remaining before the deadlines.

For his part, the Premier's adviser Nader Hariri assured “we will agree on a new law before the deadline,” pointing out that the so-called qualification law format suggested by Free Patriotic Movement leader Jebran Bassil “is still on the table.”

“The qualification law is still on the table as long as agreement on a specific law has not be reached,” he said.

Political parties are bickering over amending the current election law which divides seats among the different religious sects.

Several law formats were suggested that include a proportional representation system, the qualification law, the Orthodox law, hybrid laws and many other but none have garnered approval of all parties.


Naharnet