Officials scrambled Friday to smooth the path for the endorsement of a new vote law amid fears that sticking points could unravel the agreement reached by the country’s top leaders at Baabda Palace. A series of important meetings were held Friday between senior officials with each of Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Hariri aimed at speeding up the implementation of the agreement reached by President Michel Aoun, Berri and Hariri at their closed talks before an iftar hosted by the president at Baabda Palace Thursday. Sticking points such as the percentage for candidates to win electoral seats in any district, the preferential vote, and the duration of a technical extension of Parliament’s term could block the agreement which calls basically for the adoption of a proportional voting system dividing Lebanon into 15 districts.
Aoun had paved the way for the new vote law deal by signing a decree allowing Parliament to convene for an ordinary session from June 7 to 20 to vote on the law to govern the upcoming parliamentary elections. Parliament’s term expires on June 20.
“Remaining details might obstruct the endorsement of the [new electoral] law, but I am optimistic because those who have solved big issues can solve small ones,” MP Alain Aoun from the Free Patriotic Movement told Al-Jadeed TV Friday night. He said that a final date for holding the upcoming elections was among the remaining details being discussed by the rival factions.
But Lebanese Forces’ deputy chief MP George Adwan sounded optimistic that the proportional draft vote law would eventually be endorsed, disclosing that some sticking points have been ironed out.