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Speech of the president

of the National Commission on Electoral Law

Former Minister Mr. Fouad Boutros

During the press conference held at the Commission’s headquarters at Grand Sérail

On November 1st , 2005 

 

 

 

For the sake of transparency and communication with the media and the Lebanese public opinion, the National Commission on Parliamentary Electoral Law (“Commission”) would like to present to Lebanese people, more than two months and a half after its appointment, what it has achieved so far in addition to its action procedure and work plan for the second half of its term of office, as follows:

 

  1. On 8/8/2005, a 12-member National Commission on Parliamentary Electoral Law was appointed by the Council of Ministers which gave me the honor of being the Commission’s president. The Commission was entrusted with the elaboration of a new draft parliamentary electoral law pursuant to a large-scale consultation process.

 

  1. Shortly after its appointment, the Commission drew up its internal regulations unanimously approved by its members. These regulations govern its work, meetings, and decision-making processes pertaining to its functions. Dr. Nawaf Salem was appointed secretary of the Commission.

 

  1. Up to and including 19/9/2005, pursuant to a general invitation published on 18/8/2005, the Commission received 121 draft laws and different comments about electoral reform. Each of those who submitted the said papers appointed a representative to the Commission. The latter listened to all representatives at its headquarters located at the Grand Sérail. The Commission has prepared a multiple choice questionnaire designed to enable it to learn about the different opinions in a scientific form.

 

  1. On 24/10/2005, the Commission closed the hearings with the representatives of political parties and forces, personalities and other sides. Minutes were taken during these hearings including abstracts of a wide range of proposed opinions. Before and simultaneously with the hearings, election-related issues were discussed by the Commission that has held 22 at-large meetings so far. Furthermore, the Commission reviewed, studied and classified the proposals submitted to the Ministry of the Interior and Municipalities before its appointment. It has also formed eight sub-commissions from among its members in order to consider the electoral reform file from different perspectives.               

 

  1. In order to proceed with the procedure set in the Council of Ministers’ decision, and after the closing of hearings, the Commission organizes, during the current month, comprehensive round table talks between all projects, proposals and comments’ presenters in order to outline and discuss the different raised issues. These round tables will be about the following topics:

 

-         the authority in charge of administrating and supervising the electoral process;

-         regulation of electoral media and advertising;

-         limitation and monitoring of electoral expenditure;

-         women’s representation;

-         lowering of the voting age;

-         out-of-country voting;

-         all kinds of electoral process techniques i.e. preparation, voting, counting, announcement of results, etc.

-         voting system and constituencies delimitation.   

 

  1. In parallel, the Commission continues its work in order to proceed to the elaboration of the draft law, the rationale, the report and the recommendations.

 

  1. The Commission benefits from a purely technical assistance provided by UNDP in compliance with an agreement approved by the Council of Ministers. UNDP secures expertise required by the Commission when necessary. In this context, the Commission has asked for local and international technical expertise in the following fields: automation of electoral process, organization of polling techniques, worldwide experiences of independent commissions on the administration and supervision of the electoral process, principles and means of electoral media and advertising regulation, limitation and supervision of electoral campaign financing, different methods reinforcing women’s representation, and other technical topics. Such issues will contribute to a scientific and contemporary approach that will meet the expectations of the Lebanese people.

 

  1. The Commission, by refraining from any statement (compliance with the obligation of discretion), just wanted to exempt its work from all kinds of prediction and infiltration. However, since the media is an essential partner in any reform process, the commission promises the public opinion, through you, that it will continuously keep it updated on its achievements. 

 

 

          Beirut, on November 1st , 2005

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