Bassil Calls for Sectarian Senate, Proportional Representation Parliament

Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil on Monday called for the creation of a Senate to which each sect would elect its own representatives and for the election of a parliament according to a law fully based on proportional representation.

“As of this moment, we are willing to approve a parliamentary electoral law based on full proportional representation and a Senate elected according to the Orthodox Gathering proposal, and this has been our stance since national dialogue,” Bassil said after a meeting for the FPM’s political bureau.

The parliamentary electoral law that had been proposed by the Orthodox Gathering stipulates that each sect would elects its own MPs according to a proportional representation system. The proposal’s opponents have dismissed it as “sectarian” and “divisive.”

Addressing the political parties that have rejected his electoral law formats, Bassil said they want a “civil state” only when it comes to the electoral law.

“But when we want to appoint a low-ranking employee, they resort to a sectarian mentality,” Bassil lamented.

He also noted that the so-called hybrid electoral law that mixes proportional representation with the winner-takes-all system is aimed at “paving the way for transition from a sectarian situation to a civil situation.”

Hizbullah and its allies have repeatedly called for an electoral law fully based on proportional representation amid reservations by al-Mustaqbal Movement and the Progressive Socialist Party.

But Mustaqbal leader and Prime Minister Saad Hariri has recently announced that he is willing to accept full proportional representation.

Bassil and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea have meanwhile called for a hybrid electoral system.

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