Jebran Bassil: Orthodox Gathering Law, Qualification System Only Options on Table
Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil on Tuesday stressed that “demanding a correction of Christian representation” in state institutions “is not sectarian,” noting that electoral proposals that involve controversial sectarian voting are the only options that remain on the table.
“Is it sectarianism or secularism when the Progressive Socialist Party demands that Chouf and Aley be one district?” Bassil asked rhetorically after the weekly meeting of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc in Rabieh.
“Addressing the special status of the country's components requires proportional representation with restraints, and these restraints are the qualification system or the proposed Senate that has been shelved,” Bassil added.
“Amid the rejection of extension (of parliament's term), the 1960 law and (parliamentary) vacuum, this means that nothing enjoys approval other than the Orthodox Gathering law, which was approved by Hizbullah, and the qualification system, which has been approved by Hizbullah and the FPM,” the FPM chief said.
He also emphasized that “the basis of the electoral law should not be numbers (sizes of sects), but rather the National Pact and consensual democracy.”
Under the law proposed by the Orthodox Gathering, each sect would elect its own MPs according to a proportional representation system, whereas the so-called qualification system involves sectarian voting in a first round and inter-sectarian voting in the second.