Millennium Post

Lebanon again fails to elect new president

The Lebanese parliament failed Wednesday for the 17th consecutive time to convene and elect a new president because of lack of the constitutionally required quorum.

Speaker Nabih Berri issued a statement calling for a new session Jan 28 following the failure of the parliament to convene, Xinhua reported. According to the constitution, two-thirds of the 128-member parliament should be present for the election session to proceed, but only 50 MPs were present at the house Wednesday.

Because of the sharp political division among the Syrian-backed March 8 camp and the Western-backed March 14 camp, the parliament has failed since April 2014 in convening for the presidential election.

The March 14 camp is backing head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea for the post, while the March 8 camp is backing head of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun for president. The centrist Democratic Gathering, led by MP Walid Jumblatt, is backing MP Henri Helo for the post.

Lebanon has been without a president since the end of former president Michel Suleiman’s term May 25, but has witnessed a similar situation back in 1988 and 2007.

Following the end of former president Amine Gemayel’s term in 1988, the parliament failed to elect a president and the post was only filled following the approval of the Taef agreement in 1989 when
President Michel Moawad was elected.

In July 2007, when former President Emile Lahoud’s term ended, the post was left vacant until May 2008 when the Doha agreement was approved and President Michel Suleiman was elected.

According to the country’s power sharing pact, the president should be a Christian Maronite, the speaker a Shia and the premier a Sunni.
Agencies

Agencies

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