Lebanon election delayed again; Coalition may use simple majority vote
Hours after a parliamentary session to elect a new president was delayed again for an eighth time, leaders of the ruling "March 14" coalition hinted at resorting to elections by a simple majority. According to Naharnet, MP Wael Abu Faour said after meeting Maronite patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir Turesday morning: "We do not rule out any possibility, be it elections by a majority vote of half-plus-one or not."
On his part, Lebanese Interior Minister Ahmad Fatfat also told the Voice of Lebanon radio station on Tuesday that March 14 "did not at all abandon the half-plus-one option." "This is a constitutional alternative," Fatfat noted.
An overnight statement issued by Speaker Nabih Berri's office said presidential elections were postponed till next Monday, Dec. 17. The postponement was necessary "in order to allow for more consultation to agree on the election of a new president for the country," the statement said.
The statement by Berri's office came minutes after MPs from the ruling coalition announced a boycott of Tuesday's session amid refusal by the opposition to amend the constitution to allow the army chief to be elected president.
"In the absence of this, the deputies of the March 14 majority will not go to parliament to express their rejection of any attempt to violate the constitution," the statement added.