Lebanese president Michel Aoun and prime minister Saad Hariri attending a cabinet meeting at the presidential palace of Baabda, east of Beirut, on June 14, 2017. Lebanon's government announced the new election law after a cabinet session, ending months of tense discussions and paving the way for the first parliamentary elections in nine years. Dalati and Nohra/AFP
Lebanese president Michel Aoun and prime minister Saad Hariri attending a cabinet meeting at the presidential palace of Baabda, east of Beirut, on June 14, 2017. Lebanon's government announced the newShow more

Lebanon cabinet approves new election law



BEIRUT // Lebanon moved a step closer on Wednesday to holding its first parliamentary elections since 2009, with the country’s cabinet finally overcoming years of deadlock and indecision over a new voting law.

The approved draft law, which changes Lebanon’s voting system from one based on parliamentary seats reserved for religious sects to proportional representation, will now be referred to parliament, which will vote on it on Friday. Politicians have indicated that the law will pass.

But while the law is being hailed as a success, it also comes with a cabinet agreement to extend parliament’s term for another 11 months from June 20, to arrange the elections.

The extension would be parliament’s third since 2013 when its members’ terms first expired. Previous extensions were justified by parliament members as necessary due to instability caused by the Syrian civil war and later, the country’s lack of a president.

Elections were scheduled to occur last month, but with the country's lawmakers unable to agree on a voting law, Lebanon instead drifted towards a political vacuum with no mechanism by which to hold elections.

If elections go ahead next May as planned, members of parliament will have served nine years — five years longer than the four-year terms they were elected to in 2009.

Activists and even some parliamentarians have called the extensions illegal and have warned that Lebanon’s lack of elections meant that the country was becoming increasingly undemocratic.

You Stink, a prominent activist group that was behind a protest movement that crippled downtown Beirut in 2015, called for protests on Wednesday as news of the parliamentary extension came in.

Supporters of the draft law say an extension is the only way Lebanon can hold elections under a voting system that is very different than the one under which the country’s last elections were held.

“The extension which we will resort to is only technical and necessary for setting the mechanisms that guarantee a modern and transparent election,” said prime minister Saad Hariri, who leads the Sunni-backed Future Movement, according to the state-run National News Agency.

Previous parliamentary elections in Lebanon saw different sects granted a certain number of parliamentary seats in each district based on a quota, with candidates being elected by all voters in a district, regardless of sect.

But with no census in Lebanon since 1932, these quotas have been attacked as unfair and not representative of districts today. The system has also been criticised for allowing dominant sects in one district to determine the winner of a seat reserved for a different sect.

Proportional representation may at first glance seem to be a progressive step in a country where all the major political parties are based on sectarian identities and where sectarian quotas defined past elections.

However, the parties that first floated proportional representation appear to have been banking on winning a bigger share of power for their co-religionists and supporters than they could under the old electoral system.

In announcing the breakthrough, Lebanese president Michel Aoun acknowledged that the new law may not be fair to everybody.

“We may not be able to achieve totally fair representation, but this formula is certainly a step forward,” he said.

jwood@thenational.ae​

Defending champions

World Series: South Africa
Women’s World Series: Australia
Gulf Men’s League: Dubai Exiles
Gulf Men’s Social: Mediclinic Barrelhouse Warriors
Gulf Vets: Jebel Ali Dragons Veterans
Gulf Women: Dubai Sports City Eagles
Gulf Under 19: British School Al Khubairat
Gulf Under 19 Girls: Dubai Exiles
UAE National Schools: Al Safa School
International Invitational: Speranza 22
International Vets: Joining Jack

 


 

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Roll of honour

Who has won what so far in the West Asia Premiership season?

Western Clubs Champions League - Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins; Runners up: Bahrain

Dubai Rugby Sevens - Winners: Dubai Exiles; Runners up: Jebel Ali Dragons

West Asia Premiership - Winners: Jebel Ali Dragons; Runners up: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

UAE Premiership Cup - Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins; Runners up: Dubai Exiles

West Asia Cup - Winners: Bahrain; Runners up: Dubai Exiles

West Asia Trophy - Winners: Dubai Hurricanes; Runners up: DSC Eagles

Final West Asia Premiership standings - 1. Jebel Ali Dragons; 2. Abu Dhabi Harlequins; 3. Bahrain; 4. Dubai Exiles; 5. Dubai Hurricanes; 6. DSC Eagles; 7. Abu Dhabi Saracens

Fixture (UAE Premiership final) - Friday, April 13, Al Ain – Dubai Exiles v Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Key Points
  • Protests against President Omar Al Bashir enter their sixth day
  • Reports of President Bashir's resignation and arrests of senior government officials
Gender pay parity on track in the UAE

The UAE has a good record on gender pay parity, according to Mercer's Total Remuneration Study.

"In some of the lower levels of jobs women tend to be paid more than men, primarily because men are employed in blue collar jobs and women tend to be employed in white collar jobs which pay better," said Ted Raffoul, career products leader, Mena at Mercer. "I am yet to see a company in the UAE – particularly when you are looking at a blue chip multinationals or some of the bigger local companies – that actively discriminates when it comes to gender on pay."

Mr Raffoul said most gender issues are actually due to the cultural class, as the population is dominated by Asian and Arab cultures where men are generally expected to work and earn whereas women are meant to start a family.

"For that reason, we see a different gender gap. There are less women in senior roles because women tend to focus less on this but that’s not due to any companies having a policy penalising women for any reasons – it’s a cultural thing," he said.

As a result, Mr Raffoul said many companies in the UAE are coming up with benefit package programmes to help working mothers and the career development of women in general. 

Credits

Produced by: Colour Yellow Productions and Eros Now
Director: Mudassar Aziz
Cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Jimmy Sheirgill, Jassi Gill, Piyush Mishra, Diana Penty, Aparshakti Khurrana
Star rating: 2.5/5

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

SPECS

Engine: 6-cylinder 3-litre, with petrol and diesel variants
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Power: 286hp (petrol), 249hp (diesel)
Torque: 450Nm (petrol), 550Nm (diesel)
Price: Starting at $69,800
On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 6.5-litre V12 and three electric motors
Power: 1,015hp
Torque: 1,500Nm (estimate)
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Early 2024
Price: From Dh2 million (estimate)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Pakistanis at the ILT20

The new UAE league has been boosted this season by the arrival of five Pakistanis, who were not released to play last year.

Shaheen Afridi (Desert Vipers)
Set for at least four matches, having arrived from New Zealand where he captained Pakistan in a series loss.

Shadab Khan (Desert Vipers)
The leg-spin bowling allrounder missed the tour of New Zealand after injuring an ankle when stepping on a ball.

Azam Khan (Desert Vipers)
Powerhouse wicketkeeper played three games for Pakistan on tour in New Zealand. He was the first Pakistani recruited to the ILT20.

Mohammed Amir (Desert Vipers)
Has made himself unavailable for national duty, meaning he will be available for the entire ILT20 campaign.

Imad Wasim (Abu Dhabi Knight Riders)
The left-handed allrounder, 35, retired from international cricket in November and was subsequently recruited by the Knight Riders.

Five expert hiking tips
  • Always check the weather forecast before setting off
  • Make sure you have plenty of water
  • Set off early to avoid sudden weather changes in the afternoon
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Take your litter home with you
COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Sav
Started: 2021
Founder: Purvi Munot
Based: Dubai
Industry: FinTech
Funding: $750,000 as of March 2023
Investors: Angel investors

The specs

Powertrain: Single electric motor
Power: 201hp
Torque: 310Nm
Transmission: Single-speed auto
Battery: 53kWh lithium-ion battery pack (GS base model); 70kWh battery pack (GF)
Touring range: 350km (GS); 480km (GF)
Price: From Dh129,900 (GS); Dh149,000 (GF)
On sale: Now

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

THE HOLDOVERS

Director: Alexander Payne

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Dominic Sessa

Rating: 4.5/5

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

FFP EXPLAINED

What is Financial Fair Play?
Introduced in 2011 by Uefa, European football’s governing body, it demands that clubs live within their means. Chiefly, spend within their income and not make substantial losses.

What the rules dictate?
The second phase of its implementation limits losses to €30 million (Dh136m) over three seasons. Extra expenditure is permitted for investment in sustainable areas (youth academies, stadium development, etc). Money provided by owners is not viewed as income. Revenue from “related parties” to those owners is assessed by Uefa's “financial control body” to be sure it is a fair value, or in line with market prices.

What are the penalties?
There are a number of punishments, including fines, a loss of prize money or having to reduce squad size for European competition – as happened to PSG in 2014. There is even the threat of a competition ban, which could in theory lead to PSG’s suspension from the Uefa Champions League.

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six

Power: 650hp at 6,750rpm

Torque: 800Nm from 2,500-4,000rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch auto

Fuel consumption: 11.12L/100km

Price: From Dh796,600

On sale: now

RESULT

Argentina 0 Croatia 3
Croatia: 
Rebic (53'), Modric (80'), Rakitic (90'+1)

Sunday's games

All times UAE:

Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace, 4pm

Manchester City v Arsenal, 6.15pm

Everton v Watford, 8.30pm

Chelsea v Manchester United, 8.30pm

Did you know?

Brunch has been around, is some form or another, for more than a century. The word was first mentioned in print in an 1895 edition of Hunter’s Weekly, after making the rounds among university students in Britain. The article, entitled Brunch: A Plea, argued the case for a later, more sociable weekend meal. “By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well,” the piece read. “It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” More than 100 years later, author Guy Beringer’s words still ring true, especially in the UAE, where brunches are often used to mark special, sociable occasions.

Indika

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Consoles: PC, PlayStation
Rating: 2/5

SERIES SCHEDULE

First Test, Galle International Stadium
July 26-30
Second Test, Sinhalese Sports Club Ground
August 3-7
Third Test, Pallekele International Stadium
August 12-16
First ODI, Rangiri Dambulla Stadium
August 20
Second ODI, Pallekele International Stadium
August 24
Third ODI, Pallekele International Stadium
August 27
Fourth ODI, R Premadasa Stadium
August 31
Fifth ODI, R Premadasa Stadium
September 3
T20, R Premadasa Stadium
September 6

Chef Nobu's advice for eating sushi

“One mistake people always make is adding extra wasabi. There is no need for this, because it should already be there between the rice and the fish.
“When eating nigiri, you must dip the fish – not the rice – in soy sauce, otherwise the rice will collapse. Also, don’t use too much soy sauce or it will make you thirsty. For sushi rolls, dip a little of the rice-covered roll lightly in soy sauce and eat in one bite.
“Chopsticks are acceptable, but really, I recommend using your fingers for sushi. Do use chopsticks for sashimi, though.
“The ginger should be eaten separately as a palette cleanser and used to clear the mouth when switching between different pieces of fish.”

The five new places of worship

Church of South Indian Parish

St Andrew's Church Mussaffah branch

St Andrew's Church Al Ain branch

St John's Baptist Church, Ruwais

Church of the Virgin Mary and St Paul the Apostle, Ruwais

 

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

General Classification

1. Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA) Trek-Segafredo
2. Gaia Realini (ITA) Trek-Segafredo 7 secs
3. Silvia Persico (ITA) UAE Team ADQ 1 min 18 secs

Boston Strangler

Director: Matt Ruskin
Starring: Keira Knightley, Carrie Coon, Alessandro Nivola
Rating: 3/5


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