Sami Gemayel: We Fully Back the Orthodox Gathering Draft Proposal

Naharnet Newsdesk – 12/1/13

Phalange Party MP Sami Gemayel restated his party’s rejection of the 1960 electoral law, and reiterated approval of the Orthodox Gathering electoral draft law proposal, An Nahar daily said Saturday.

“We fully back the Orthodox Gathering draft proposal,” said Gemayel.

“The Christians have been marginalized for almost 23 years but no one voiced any objection to that,” he told the daily in a interview.

“The Phalange Party and the Lebanese Forces have fixed positions and refuse to go back to the 1960 electoral law no matter what. Moreover, we back the Orthodox Gathering law until other alternatives that guarantee fair representation are presented,” Gemayel added.

To those opposing to the Orthodox Gathering draft law, the MP noted: “The Christians have been marginalized for more than 23 years, but no one voiced any objection to that. We will vote on the Orthodox project until other alternatives are available.”

A Christian summit was held in Bkirki on Friday in the presence of Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel and Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh, but Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea was absent for security reasons.

The summit called for agreeing on the Orthodox Gathering electoral draft law that secures fair and just representation for all Lebanese communities.

Hizbullah and the Amal Movement, on one hand, support the Christian consensus on the said draft electoral law, while the Mustaqbal Movement and head of the National Struggle Front MP Walid Jumblat reject it.

For his part, Prime Minister Najib Miqati voiced concerns early this week that the Orthodox electoral proposal would eliminate equal power sharing between Muslims and Christians in the country and open the way for a tripartite system.

President Michel Suleiman pledged to challenge the Orthodox proposal, which calls for every sect to elect its own MPs in this year’s parliamentary elections.

Moreover, March 14 Independent Christian politicians reject the proposal, with some saying it threatens the presence of Christians in Lebanon.