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December 01, 2012
Electoral Law Reform Must be Part of an Integrated Political Reform Effort

Lunch Talk with Karam Karam

LCPS has launched a lunch talk series with civil society activists to discuss pertinent issues, learn about the challenges they face on the ground, as well as explore avenues of working together.

In the first installment, LCPS had the privilege of hosting Dr. Karam Karam, head researcher for the Common Space Initiative, to talk about the current electoral law debate. Various aspects of the issue were discussed, but overall Dr. Karam believes that all of the debates and proposals regarding the electoral law lack a number of “fundamentally important questions”. He argues that electoral reform on its own is not sufficient; we need integrated political reform for the whole country.

The direct consequence of partially implementing the structural reform imposed by the Taef accord and the successive electoral laws secured the powers of the political elite during and after the period of Syrian tutelage. This reproduction of power is correlated with maintaining the status quo in the various electoral systems. It is important to bear in mind that these electoral laws are not only a means to elect the legislative branch but also a direct or indirect influence to appoint and elect the political, constitutional, judicial and socio-economic bodies of the government.

Finally, Dr. Karam suggested four measures to achieve integrated political reform of the Lebanese political system, namely the establishment of: An elected parliament free from sectarian constraints, a senate responsible for examining issues related to the different sects, locally elected bodies able to represent and speak in the name of their constituents, and an independent judiciary system.

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