ARF Lebanon Issues Statement on Elections

BEIRUT–Discontent with Lebanon’s electoral law adopted in 2000–the Central Committee of ARF Lebanon issued a press release on Wednesday–pointing to the law’s weaknesses–specifically in providing equal representation among Lebanon’s diverse communities.

Citing basic democratic principals–the participation of people in elections and their right to representation–they stressed that the upholding of these principles are especially important in countries that are based on a confessional system.

In light of the inequality and injustice of 2000 elections–the ARF states the party has attempted to right the injustices of that election–by way of political action–dialogue–and negotiations with those who have the power to correct the previous wrong.

The ARF expresses hope that Beirut’s Armenian community is properly represented in the upcoming parliament–and that efforts are undertaken to draft a just electoral law–which takes into account the dream of the Lebanese people to have a democratic government–based on the fundamentals of justice–equality–solidarity–and respect.

Subsequently–the party announced its nomination of Stepan Der Bedrossian (2nd district)–and former minister Jacques Chookhadarian (3rd district) for Armenian slots in Beirut’s district elections.

The political system in Lebanon was established on the basis of "confessionalism," designed to achieve a balance between the various sectarian communities in the country–so as to "ensure equitable confessional representation." The confessional formula allocated political positions to the various communities in accordance with an arbitrary population ratio (6 to 5) based on the 1932 census taken under the French mandate.

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