The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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January 29, 2010

Daily Star - Cabinet To Discuss Electoral Reforms In Friday Session

BEIRUT: Cabinet is scheduled to convene on Friday to discuss potential reforms to the municipal electoral law and a heated debate is expected to arise over key reforms suggested by the Interior Ministry. While the Future Movement rejects the division of Beirut into three districts, most parties have refrained from declaring their position on the adoption of proportional representation and the direct election of mayors by the people.
Also, Christian parties have tied lowering the voting age to 18 to the adoption of an executive procedure guaranteeing expatriates the right to vote abroad, as well as passing a law allowing people from Lebanese origins the right to retrieve their nationality.
Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) official MP Wael Abu Faour said on Wednesday that reform proposals should be discussed on the basis of consensus and in accordance with the national pact in order to preserve domestic power balance.
“Lebanon’s political regime is leading the country to suicide since many reforms should be implemented but only in accordance with the national pact and domestic power balance,” Abu Faour said following talks with Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir.
Abu Faour discussed with the patriarch at the latter’s residence in Bkirki his party’s stance regarding the abolition of political sectarianism and lowering the voting age to 18.
“The issue of lowering the voting age is not a demand but rather a right since Lebanese individuals who are aged 18 are held accountable before the law,” Abu Faour said, adding that “the amendment will be passed but later, based on domestic consensus.”
Asked whether the PSP would participate in the commemoration of the sixth anniversary of the February 14 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Abu Faour confirmed his party’s participation but did not disclose any information regarding PSP leader and Chouf MP Walid Jumblatt’s attendance.
“We will participate definitely in the occasion since the memory [of former Premier Rafik Hariri] concerns us, but how we will participate is still to be discussed,” Abu Faour said.
The assassination of Hariri in an explosion in Beirut on February 14, 2005, prompted a wave of anti-Syrian demonstrations in Beirut, culminating in a massive protest on March 14.
Many blamed Hariri’s killing on Syria, though Damascus denies involvement.
Leaders of the protest movement, who are now known as the March 14 Forces, backed the passage of Security Council Resolution 1559, which called for the withdrawal of foreign armies from Lebanon.
Jumblatt, who supported 1559, publicly accused Syria of involvement in the killing.
But after the June 2009 parliamentary elections, Jumblatt announced his withdrawal from the March 14 alliance, saying that it had been driven by necessity, and declared that he was moving to a centrist position. The PSP leader has lately undertaken several steps to bridge the gap with Syria’s allies in Lebanon.
Jumblatt’s reconciliation with opposition parties are believed to lay the foundations ahead of his visit to Damascus. – The Daily Star

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