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Republic of Lebanon                                                                          Minutes no: 4

   Council of Ministers                                                                          Decision no: 58

Secretariat-General                                                                            Year: 2005

 

 

From the minutes of the Council of Ministers session

Held at: Grand Sérail on Monday 8/8/2005

 

 

Subject:

 

Appointment of the National Commission on Parliamentary Electoral Law and determination of its procedural tasks

 

 

Documentation:

 

-         Lebanese Constitution, namely Article 24;

-         Taef Accord (National Pact) ratified by Parliament on 5/11/1989- Clause C,

-         Ministerial Official Statement adopted by the Council of Ministers at its session of 25/7/2005

-         Proposal of the Prime Minister made during the session

 

 

Decision of the Council

 

 

The Council of Ministers has reviewed the aforementioned documents and listened to the Prime Minister’s statement on the appointment of the “National Commission on Parliamentary Electoral Law” outlining the content of the Ministerial Official Statement adopted by the government, as follows:

 

 

First: Electoral Process Reform

 

 

As confirmed by the Lebanese people, the Electoral Process Reform is one of the important issues that should be treated without any delay. Hence, one of the government’s priorities is to reform the electoral law in order to establish parliamentary democracy, as set forth in the Constitution, that requires the creation of modern political parties serving as a base for popular representation and opinions and through which the democratic process would be achieved.  

 

The government believes that it would be possible for multi-sectarian political groups to be created provided that an appropriate electoral system would be put in place. It also believes that sectarian plurality would not prevent the formation of modern parties allowing abolition of traditional sectarianism that has destroyed our political life and hindered its development.

 

Therefore, the Government deems that reforming the electoral law is closely related to the provisions of Taef Accord regarding the abolition of political sectarianism. As a result, after submitting the new draft electoral law to Parliament, it will immediately initiate the appointment of the National Commission in order to look into how sectarianism would be abolished pursuant to the Constitution and Taef Accord.

 

Accordingly, after its approval, the Government will appoint a national commission on electoral law that will secure, within the basis and norms set forth in Taef Accord, a fair representation of Lebanese people in a parliamentary democratic framework and in a way efficiently involving the participation of Youth by lowering the voting age.

 

The Commission will comprise all political forces including representatives of parties and movements unrepresented in government, in addition to highly-educated and specialized persons in order to examine the proposals and submit a report on its activities by 5 months at the most. In its turn, the Government undertakes to subsequently refer the appropriate draft law within one month to Parliament in order for it to be legally well-examined by Parliamentary committees and by the General Assembly.  

 

Based on the above,

 

The Prime Minister presents the issue to the Council for appropriate decision.

 

 

Therefore,

After deliberation,

 

The Council has agreed to the following:

 

1- A consultative Commission called “National Commission on Parliamentary Electoral Law” shall be appointed and comprised of:

 

Mr. Fouad Boutros                                                       President

Mr. Ghaleb Mahmassany                                              Member

Mr. Michel Tabet                                                         Member

Mr. Zuheir Shokr                                                          Member

Mr. Ghassan Abu Alwan                                              Member

Mr. Ziyad Baroud                                                         Member

Mr. Nawaf Salam                                                         Member

Mr. Abdul Salam Shoueib                                             Member

Mr. Fayez Hajj Chahine                                                Member

Mr. Paul Salem                                                 Member

Mr. Khaldoun Naja                                                      Member

Mrs. Arda Akmakji                                                      Member

2- The mission of the Commission is to propose means to reform the electoral system in Lebanon in accordance with the provisions of the ministerial official statement by preparing the new Parliamentary Electoral draft law pursuant to the principles of the Constitution and the Taef Accord. The aim of such a draft law is to achieve as much fair representation and equality between candidates and voters, as possible, and to provide the necessary conditions for a free electoral competition and impartiality required for the administration of the electoral process by the competent authorities.

 

3- The Commission shall report to the Prime Minister and be housed at the Grand Sérail. The directorate-general of the Council of Ministers Presidency shall provide it with supporting human resources and technical and material requirements for its mission.

 

4- The Ministries of Justice and of the Interior and Municipalities are requested to provide the Commission, promptly after the issuance of the present decision, with all available projects, studies, reports and proposals pertaining to the reform/amendment of the Parliamentary Electoral Law. The President of the Commission shall invite all Lebanese political parties, movements, forces and personalities to present to the Commission their proposals and to appoint their representatives, within one month- at the latest- of the publication of the invitation in the official gazette and in five local newspapers for two consecutive days.      

 

5- Within one month of receipt of the proposals submitted by political parties, movements and forces, the Commission shall start to study them, provided that it makes, with no delay, all proposals available to each of the political parties, movements and forces, authors of such proposals. The Commission shall request such entities’ representatives to present their proposals before it and answer the questions of the Commissioners as well as a group of questions previously prepared by the Commission during special hearings attended only by the Commissioners and these representatives.

 

6- Within one month and a half of the expiry of the deadline set forth in Clause 5 above, the Commission shall hold plenary sessions for the representatives of the political parties, movements and forces, run by the President or by his appointee, in order to allow them to discuss the different proposals with each other. In parallel, the Commissioners shall also meet, during this period, separately or collectively, in Lebanon or abroad, with International Organizations or NGO’s that can, based on their expertise, help the Commission to achieve its mission. Furthermore, each Commissioner shall be entitled, during the whole term of office of the Commission, to meet with any of the political, intellectual, spiritual or social personalities he/she deems useful.

 

7- Within one month at the most of the end of the plenary sessions held with the representatives of the political parties, movements and forces decided in accordance with Clause 6 above, the Commission shall draw up a report on its mission along with its suggestions, and submit it to the Prime Minister. In all cases, the Commission shall finish its activities within 5 months at the latest.

 

8- The Prime Minister shall submit the Commission’s report and suggestions with his relevant observations, if any, to the Council of Ministers within no later than 15 days as of the date of receipt.

 

9- The President of the Commission and the Commissioners shall receive a flat remuneration (lump sum) paid in two installments, the amount of which shall be determined by virtue of a decision of the Prime Minister and allocated from the budget of the directorate-general of the Council of Ministers presidency. For this purpose, the relevant credit shall be transferred from the General Budget Reserves to the budget of the Council of Ministers presidency.

 

 

Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers

 

Souheil Boujy (signature)

 

 

A copy thereof should be notified to:

- The ministers

- The President of the Commission and Commissioners

- All public administrations and public institutions      

- The Ministry of Finance

- The directorate-general of the Republic presidency

- The general-directorate of the Council of Ministers presidency

- National Archives Institution

- IT Center

- Archives

 

 

Beirut, on August 9, 2005


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