June 1, 2006
After many months of work,
After a broad number of
meetings held by the Commission at large and the sub-commissions,
After the revision and
discussion of 121 proposals submitted to the Commission by the different bodies,
parties and personalities involved in election matters,
After discussing the said
proposals with them and with their representatives, and after the holding of
eight plenary sessions,
After insisting on
securing unanimity that would positively contribute to spread concord among
The National Commission on
Parliamentary Electoral Law submitted an electoral draft law made up of nine
chapters including 129 articles.
The new concepts
introduced by the draft law and distinguishing it from the prevailing and
previous electoral laws are as follows (as per the order of its chapters):
To bring the rights of voters and candidates to the same level of rights with
constitutional force; every law opposing these rights shall be challenged for
unconstitutionality and subject to annulment by the Constitutional Council. A
part of these rights is consolidated in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and in the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
for the other part, it was introduced by the Commission since it fits the
current Lebanese political situation. Two rules characterize this last part:
first, the electoral law should not be amended within the year preceding the
scheduled holding of next elections. Consequently, voters and candidates would
be able to fully get ready for elections on an insightful basis, which
guarantees a sound practice of democracy; secondly, the elections should be held
under the umbrella of a government of non-candidates. These rights, to which
correspond a number of obligations, were regrouped under the “Charter of voters
and candidates’ rights”.
To grant non-resident Lebanese throughout the world the right to vote, provided
that they still hold the Lebanese citizenship and that their names figure on the
voter rolls. The debate over people of Lebanese origin who no longer hold
citizenship remains outside the scope of the Commission’s mission.
To lower the voting age from 21 to 18, in order to meet Lebanese youth’s demand,
and to be in line with most of legislation in force in highly democratic
To allocate a quota for women at candidacy level; each list must include a given
number of female candidates in response of women organizations’ requests and in
application of 1995 Peking Agreement approved by Lebanon and recommending that
women’s representation be 30% minimum by 2005.
Fifth: To set up
an Independent Electoral Commission that shall replace the Ministry of the
Interior in organizing and supervising the electoral process starting with the
electoral lists preparation until counting of votes and announcement of the
results. The IEC establishment would ensure impartiality in the elections.
To adopt a mixed electoral system; 77 deputies shall be elected within cadas
according to the majoritarian system while 51 deputies shall be elected within
muhafazats according to the proportional system.
The National Commission
opted for this system for the following reasons:
satisfies those who call for a small constituency subject to majority vote and
those who support the PR large constituency.
reaches the principle of Coexistence and prevents the domination of a given
community and the marginalization of another.
includes a dynamic procedure that would make, with time, the national speech
prevail over the sectarian one.
prevails in many highly democratic countries such as Germany and Japan, and
because experts in the Constitutional law and outstanding political and
sociological experts recommended in France (Vedel commission) and in England (Jenkens
commission) the mixed system be adopted along with the majoritarian system
prevailing in these two countries in order to combine the advantages of both
majoritarian and proportional systems and reduce the disadvantages of each one
of them if applied separately.
As for electoral
districting, cadas were adopted as constituencies subject to the majoritarian
system and the traditional muhafazats as constituencies subject to the
proportional system. Beirut muhafazat remains unchanged but shall include three
electoral units standing for cadas. Mount Lebanon muhafazat is divided into two
constitucies but still includes the same cadas.
To regulate electoral expenditure and determine limits thereof, in order to
ensure fair competition and equality among candidates by limiting the influence
of money that has for long wronged the electoral process. The draft law grants
the Independent Electoral Commission powers to monitor the electoral expenditure
and punishes the defaulting entities.
To regulate electoral advertising in order to ensure justice and equal
opportunities among candidates. The draft law grants the Independent Electoral
Commission powers to monitor the electoral media campaigns and punishes the
To organize the electoral process as follows:
Exercise the right to
vote exclusively by means of ballot papers prepared and delivered by the
Independent Commission to the polling stations.
Give the voter the
choice of voting in his/her place of record or in his/her place of
To make facilities for
disabled voters so that they would be able to exercise their right to vote
throughout Lebanon on one polling day.
Place two ballot boxes
in each polling station in order to vote for cadas according to the
majoritrian system and for muhafazats according to the proportional system.
Automate the counting
process with a scanner connected to a programmed computer and a wide screen
where results would be displayed. The primary counting shall take place in
front of the competent registration committee instead of the polling
Lowering the voting age to
18, adopting a quota for women and bringing the voters and candidates’ rights to
the same level of fundamental rights with constitutional force, require
amendments to some articles of the Constitution. The Commission attached, for
this purpose, to its draft law a proposal in this regard.
The President of the
Commission mentioned that he would submit to his Excellency the Prime Minister
the report as soon as he finishes proofreading it.