Aoun Won't Sign Elections Decree, to Address 'Message to All Lebanese'

Publication date: 
Mar 19 2017

President Michel Aoun will not sign a decree that calls on electoral bodies to hold parliamentary elections on June 18, a media report said.

“A technical extension of the electoral deadlines is inevitable,” Baabda Palace sources told the Kuwaiti al-Anbaa newspaper in remarks published Sunday.

“Should all attempts to find a new electoral law reach a dead end, President Aoun might address a message to all Lebanese in which he would announce that he is seeking to achieve their aspirations in a modern law that achieves fair representation,” the sources added.

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq had signed the elections decree on Saturday.

The country has not organized parliamentary elections since 2009 and the parliament has since extended its own mandate twice.

Hizbullah has repeatedly called for an electoral law fully based on proportional representation but al-Mustaqbal Movement and Druze leader MP Walid Jumblat have both rejected the proposal.

Mustaqbal argues that Hizbullah's arms would prevent serious competition in the party's strongholds while Jumblat has warned that such an electoral system would “marginalize” the minority Druze community whose presence is concentrated in the Chouf and Aley areas.

The political parties are meanwhile discussing a so-called hybrid electoral law that mixes proportional representation with the winner-takes-all system.

Date: 19/03/2017