Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil stressed Sunday that “nothing justifies postponing the parliamentary polls,” as the FPM held unprecedented internal elections based on the “proportional representation” system.
Bassil voiced his remarks during an inspection tour that saw him visit Akkar, Baalbek-Hermel, Jezzine, Jbeil, Keserwan, Beirut and Aley.
The FPM's polls were aimed at electing regional committees.
“This vote is important because it is a conclusive evidence that Lebanon can organize elections,” Bassil said, vowing that the FPM will not tolerate another extension of the parliament's term.
“When the cabinet tackles the issue of the municipal polls, we will emphasize the need to hold (parliamentary) by-elections in Jezzine” to fill the seat that was left vacant after the death of MP Michel Helou of the FPM, Bassil added.
“Today we have given the example that nothing prevents holding these polls and implementing the proportional representation system, because our people are educated and democratic enough to be able to take part in such polls,” the FPM chief went on to say.
Underlining that “nothing justifies postponing the parliamentary polls,” Bassil noted that “extension is aimed at evading the FPM's strength” and that “the excuse for dodging proportional representation has been toppled.”
Bassil had won the FPM's presidency uncontested in August 2015, succeeding his father-in-law MP Michel Aoun. At the time, he described the so-called “consensus” that contributed to his victory as a “form of democracy” aimed at keeping the FPM “strong.”