Voting age tops Berri's agenda for Monday Parliament session.Byline: Elias Sakr
Summary: BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri Nabih Berri (Arabic: نبيه بري; born January 28, 1938 in Bo, Sierra Leone) is a Sierra Leonean-Lebanese politician, is currently the speaker of the Lebanese Parliament of Lebanon. called Parliament to convene CONVENE, civil law. This is a technical term, signifying to bring an action. Monday with the issue of lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 topping the agenda. Berri's step seemed to gain the approval of many of the major political parties.However, just like the issue of abolishing political sectarianism sec·tar·i·an
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a sect.
2. Adhering or confined to the dogmatic limits of a sect or denomination; partisan.
3. Narrow-minded; parochial.
1. , lowering the voting age has been a topic of debate between Berri and March 14 Christian parties.
BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri called Parliament to convene Monday with the issue of lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 topping the agenda. Berri's step seemed to gain the approval of many of the major political parties.
However, just like the issue of abolishing political sectarianism, lowering the voting age has been a topic of debate between Berri and March 14 Christian parties as the Lebanese Forces (LF) tied the issue to establishing a procedure which granted expatriates the right to vote from their country of residence.
Major political parties agreed prior to the 2009 parliamentary polls to lower the voting age to 18 in the upcoming 2013 parliamentary elections while passing a law granting expatriates the right to vote from their country of residence but without establishing an executive procedure to guarantee the process.
Ahead of the upcoming municipal elections -- scheduled to take place in June instead of May after the Cabinet's decision to postpone it for one month -- lowering the voting age to 18 will add another 283,000 voters to electoral lists, a new challenge for the Interior Ministry to meet within the legal deadline.
Free Patriotic Movement official Mario Aoun told The Daily Star Wednesday that Reform and Change bloc MPs would attend the Parliament session and vote in favor of lowering the voting age while underscoring the need to hold the elections within the legal constitutional deadline.
However, Aoun said his party demanded the division of Beirut into three districts, an amendment to the municipal electoral law which the Future Movement opposed.
Future Movement MP Amar Houri houri (h`rē, hou`–) [Arab.,=black-eyed], one of the beautiful maidens said by some Muslims to dwell in paradise for the enjoyment of the faithful. told The Daily Star Wednesday that the Future Movement bloc also supported Berri's call to lower the voting age in order to grant the young the opportunity to participate in the electoral process.
Conversely con·verse 1
intr.v. con·versed, con·vers·ing, con·vers·es
1. To engage in a spoken exchange of thoughts, ideas, or feelings; talk. See Synonyms at speak.
2. , Future Movement allyAa LF MP Antoine Zahra Antoine Zahra (Arabic: أنطوان زهرا, also أنطوان زهرة, born 1956) is a Lebanese Maronite politician and a member of the Lebanese Forces party. told The Daily Star Wednesday that his party tied lowering the voting age to the ratification The confirmation or adoption of an act that has already been performed.
A principal can, for example, ratify something that has been done on his or her behalf by another individual who assumed the authority to act in the capacity of an agent. of an administrative procedure to guarantee expatriates the right to vote abroad in line with an earlier "gentlemen's agreement" over the issue.
"Lebanese Forces MPs would participate in Parliament's Monday session but we await the stance of other parties to take a decision since the issue would be subject to discussion on Monday, and not necessarily to vote," Zahra said.
Separately, Hizbullah's Loyalty to the Resistance bloc said in a statement issued Wednesday that undertaking the municipal elections under the reforms proposed by Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud required major efforts and the appropriate political atmosphere in order to meet the legal deadline set for next June.
Baroud's proposal to the Cabinet on Tuesday includes the election of the heads of municipalities as well as their deputies based on a direct majority vote, and the adoption of closed electoral lists for municipalities of more than 21 members to be elected based on proportional representation proportional representation: see representation.
Electoral system in which the share of seats held by a political party in the legislature closely matches the share of popular votes it received. .
However, the adoption of proportional representation and the direct election of the municipality heads by the populace remains a disputed issue amonf political parties.
The reforms also include the adoption of a 30-percent female quota and the conclusion of the process over a maximum of a four-phase period while shortening the municipalities' council term to five from six years.
Berri said lawmakers would discuss the municipal electoral reforms as soon as the Cabinet decides upon the issue, a move which is expected next week during a government meeting on Tuesday.
On another note, Hizbullah MPs have reiterated support for Berri's call to form a committee tasked with the abolition of political sectarianism in accordance with a mandatory constitutional clause.
As for the issue of administrative appointments, Hizbullah MPs stressed the need to adopt a procedure that guarantees the nomination of candidates based on merit and honesty.
Meanwhile, the speaker has reiterated Monday his demand to form a judicial committee tasked with choosing three potential candidates for each vacant position and has left to the Cabinet the discretion to name them.
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