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Lebanon parliament approves new electoral law

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun, left, meets Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri at the presidential palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, November 3, 2016. (Photo by AP)
Lebanon’s parliament has given its approval to a new electoral law that paves the way for parliamentary elections in May next year, extending its term for 11 months.
The chamber approved the law by consensus after three hours of discussion on Friday, Lebanese media reported.
“The law that has been passed is the best possible,” Lebanon's Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri was quoted as saying at the session.
He said the law would save the country from “a crisis of fate.”
Lebanon’s political parties on Tuesday agreed to the law that will create a proportional representation system for parliament and decreases the number of electoral districts.
The law also extended the lawmakers’ mandate for 11 months, avoiding a legislative vacuum when the parliament's current term ends on June 20.
On Wednesday, Lebanon’s cabinet endorsed the new law. Information Minister Melhem Riachy told reporters that the elections now were likely to be held on May 6, 2018, adding that the chamber could extend its term until May 20.
The law ends a stalemate that has seen the ethnically-divided country not holding any legislative elections since 2009 with the lawmakers extending the parliament’s four-year term twice in a move that ignited protests in Beirut.

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