Daily Star Online
Summary: Lebanon's reformed-minded leaders feel that
parliamentary elections should adopt proportional representation to encourage
competition, adequate representation for minority party and a wider electoral
Daily Star Online
Proportional Representation Reflects Variety
By Elie Hourani
July 2, 2004
BEIRUT: Former Telecommunications Minister Issam Naaman said
Friday that Lebanon should institute a proportional representation system.
In a news conference held at the Press Federation, he said the majority of
reform-minded people in the country felt that political reforms needed "a
fair electoral system that ensured adequate political representation."
Lebanese parliamentary elections are currently arranged as a winner-takes-all
system where the holder of a majority of any vote gains a seat at Parliament. A
proportional representation system would ensure that all political groups gain
political representation in line with the public
support they enjoy.
Naaman said the proportional representation system was ideal for promoting
competitiveness among various parties in large constituencies.
He said a political group could get a number of parliamentary seats
proportional to the percentage of votes it received at the polls, and among the
advantages of a proportional representation system was that it
reflected a country's political variety as well as any changes in public
opinion. The system also ensures political representation for various
political and social groups.
"The proportional representation system ensures adequate representation in
Parliament for small groups, which otherwise have no chance of reaching such
representation through the conventional political system based on majority
vote," Naaman said.
He added that the proportional representation system promotes competition among
political groups rather than among individual candidates, ensuring that Lebanese
parliamentary life would be reformed as well-organized parliamentary blocs would
Naaman said the proportional system also allows a wide variety in electoral
tickets and makes it easier for women to stand for parliamentary seats.