Maronite Church: electoral reform, for full Christian representation
Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Lebanese Church is calling for a new
electoral system ahead of the parliamentary vote next year, which gives greater
assurance of "representation" to Christians and allows "even
expatriates" to express their preference. A
statement released yesterday by the Patriarch Bechara Rai, at the end of the Maronite
Bishops monthly meeting in Beirut.
the same time, he rejects the current system which does not protect all the
souls that make up the country and calls for "respect" for the
election date, scheduled for the spring of 2013.
The appeal of the Maronite leadership comes at a time of bitter political battle on the future electoral law, with the two main parties (the rival factions of March 8, linked to the Shiite movement Hezbollah, and the March 14, close to the former prime minister Hariri) divided on the way forward. At the center of debate is a bill approved by the executive last month, which aims to divide Lebanon into 13 medium-large districts, with a system of proportional representation.
In contrast, the mechanism currently in force, adopted in September 2008 in anticipation of the vote in June 2009, refers instead to the electoral law of 1960, which according to Bechara Rai, does not guarantee a fair representation of Christians. It is characterized by a majority system and by the division of Lebanon into numerous small size constituencies, corresponding largely to districts (Qada ').
This week, the battle has intensified, with the proposal of Christian parties of the faction of the March 14 to create small election districts t, a project rejected by the rival March 8 and progressive social Party, led by Walid Jumblatt, leader of the Druze faction.
"The Lebanese people - Patriarch Rai warned - both residents and those who live abroad, look with renewed hope to the work of Parliament" that it may approve a new Law that "ensures a true representation of all citizens." The Maronite bishops hope "priority" will be given to the law, as the "time factor" is working against "reforms long invoked by the Lebanese people."