Friday, February 3, 2023

Lebanese parliament fails 8th time to elect new president

Lebanese lawmakers on Thursday failed for the eighth time to elect a new president. Speaker Nabih Berru scheduled a new session on December 8, as the country's political deadlock continues to prevent consensus on a new president.

The voting session was attended by 111 lawmakers of the 128-member parliament.

Michel Moawad, a candidate backed by the Lebanese Forces party, got 37 votes, well short of the figure needed to win the first round, while 52 lawmakers cast blank ballots.

Berri set the next voting session for Dec. 8. The previous sessions were held on weekly basis where all failed to agree on a new president.

A candidate needs two-thirds of the vote (86 lawmakers) in the parliament to get through the first stage, while an absolute majority is needed in subsequent rounds.

Former President Michel Aoun left office on Oct. 31 after completing a six-year term, without lawmakers agreeing on a successor.

Since 2019, Lebanon has been facing a crippling economic crisis that, according to the World Bank, is one of the worst the world has seen in modern times.

The country has been without a fully functioning government since May, with Prime Minister Najib Mikati and his Cabinet having limited powers in their current caretaker status.

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