After a long time of being forcibly and intentionally disregarded, the issue of the Parliamentary electoral law has suddenly and forcefully reemerged in political discussions. In the recent period, we have witnessed a number of statements and positions concerning the electoral law in general and proportional representation specifically, in addition to some hesitant demands for other reforms to be implemented, most notably non-resident voting and regulating electoral expenditure.
While the Civil Campaign for Electoral Reform encourages these discussions which it considers necessary, it reminds at the same time of the importance of complying with the legal deadline set by the Mikati Cabinet for adopting an electoral law by June 2012, which is to say that time is running out for any desired reform process. Thus, it is necessary to accelerate the discussions on the electoral file in the Cabinet and its transfer to the Parliament where it would be debated and adopted within the appropriate due processes.
Therefore, the Campaign urges all those concerned with this matter to assume their responsibilities towards their nation, and to grasp the opportunity for real and serious reform of the electoral law. The Campaign will also follow up on the efforts undertaken on this issue and will pressure decision makers in all possible ways for the adoption of proportional representation and the other reforms. For that purpose, CCER would like to announce that as part of the series of activities that it will be organizing in its effort to advocate for the adoption of a democratic electoral law, it is organizing a large popular activity on May 13 in order to urge the government to fulfill its obligations in this matter.
In a related context, the Campaign would like to reemphasize to all Lebanese citizens that the proportional representation system is the fairest and most accurate system in terms of representation, and that all statements being made today which portray proportional representation as a way to marginalize any group in society are inaccurate since these sides view the electoral law as nothing more than a tool for them to reach and maintain power. Moreover, CCER deplores statements made by some that indicate the possibility of postponing elections in case no new electoral law was adopted or due to specific security issues. Hence, CCER renews its warnings on the dire consequences of delaying elections particularly as the Lebanese Constitution and numerous international agreements maintain the right of the Lebanese citizens to choose their representatives in periodic elections. The tendency to postpone elections is completely unacceptable and the Campaign will work to block such a plan as we did in the period preceding the Municipal elections in 2010.
Beirut, April 5, 2012