Lebanese Expats May Be Getting Six Seats In The Parliament!

On the 20th of June, the Parliament’s term expires. Currently, President Michel Aoun, Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister Saad Hariri are working on a new electoral law. The plan is to adopt a proportional voting system which would divide Lebanon into 15 districts. The discussion during Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting will revolve around this electoral law. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Gebran Bassil has made new demands. One of his requests is to link this new law to an agreement that affirms an equal share of power between Muslims and Christians. Based on the Taif Agreement which was established in 1989, the electoral law in Lebanon provides parity between Muslims and Christians. This law favors power-sharing; something needed in a religiously diverse country. At that time, Syria requested 20 extra seats in the parliament. That was a way to make its presence stronger in Lebanon. Bassil suggested removing 20 seats, which will result in having 108 seats in the parliament instead of 128. Also, he asked to allocate 6 extra seats to the Lebanese expats. The representation of the Lebanese Diaspora in Lebanon has been examined during a recent meeting at Hariri’s residence.

A new decree to make the Lebanese expatriates one step closer to Lebanon

This is not a new subject; it has been discussed during the 4th

Lebanese Diaspora Energy (LDE) Conference

. During LDE, President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri signed the first decree that allows Lebanese expats to reclaim their nationality. Bassil was also there; he stressed the importance of the expatriates’ involvement in Lebanon. Once the electoral law is approved, the elections will be held within 6 to nine months. Machnouk said that the elections will be postponed because it will be difficult to hold them in winter. People who live in remote areas where the roads are in bad conditions in winter will not be able to go and vote which is their fundamental right and duty as citizens.

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