Lebanese Democratic Party rejects 1960 vote law
Written by Malek

By daily Star Lebanon

BEIRUT: Lebanon's majoritarian parliamentary election system diminishes Druze representation in the country, said Democratic Party leader Talal Arslan Friday. "Druze can only elect two lawmakers out of eight by their votes based on the 1960 [electoral] while the remaining six are elected by our partners from other sects," Arslan told reporters after meeting with President Michel Aoun at the Baabda Palace. A proportional voting system "achieves justice and correct representation," he added. The makeup of electoral constituencies should "soothe the concerns of all groups," he continued. Progressive Socialist Party MP Walid Jumblatt's bloc has called for an amended version of the 1960 majoritarian electoral law.

Lebanese factions are sharply divided over the characteristics of a new law to govern parliamentary elections set for May. "I respect Jumblatt's opinion and the PSP approach... but our different positions are clear and explicit," Arslan said. President Michel Aoun said Friday that his efforts for a new electoral law are intended to enable minorities’ representation in Parliament. "This is how we achieve justice," he said. “No [party] seeks to eliminate others because we believe that if we lose one component--political or social--we abolish the Lebanese character of existence," Aoun said, and added that his proposals are compatible with the Taif Accord that ended of Lebanon’s Civil War. Aoun has previously threatened to exercise his “constitutional prerogatives” if rival parties fail to agree on a fair electoral law soon. The president also pledged not to hold elections under the 1960 law, threatening to put a new voting system to a popular referendum if rivals deadlock over an electoral law agreemen