Jun 16, 11:48 AM EDT

Lebanese parliament ratifies new electoral law


BEIRUT (AP) -- Lebanon's parliament has ratified a new electoral law, paving the way for the first national elections since 2009.

The new law preserves the seat allocations in parliament to the country's various Muslim and Christian sects, over the objections of civil campaigners.

Security forces beat a handful of demonstrators who tried to block politicians' motorcades outside the parliament building.

The law passed with a broad majority on Friday after weeks of intensive negotiations between the various parties.

Parliamentary elections are slated to be held in May 2018. The sitting parliament has extended its own term three times since it originally expired in 2013.

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