Lebanon fails to pick new president

Published January 19th, 2023 - 12:23 GMT
new president

ALBAWABA - For the 11th time in a row, the Lebanese parliament failed to choose a new president to succeed ex-president Michel Aoun, whose term expired on Nov. 31.

Vote counting in the Lebanese parliament ended in a session held on Thursday, and presided over by Speaker Nabih Berri, without a president elected.

In the session, presidential nominees failed to obtain the votes of two-thirds of the deputies in the first round of voting. Although presidential candidate Michel Moawad, the founder of the independence movement in Lebanon, is still leading the candidate race, he received only 34 votes.

Moawad was unable, once again, to persuade lawmakers to elect him, although a quorum was achieved. A quorum requires the presence of 86 deputies in the 128-seat parliament.

According to the Lebanese constitution, a candidate must win 86 votes, or a majority of two-thirds of the total ballots in the first round to win the election. In case the candidate fails to acquire that number, a second round is held in which the candidate who obtains 65 votes wins.

In Thursday's session, the number of votes was 110, but, most of the ballot papers were either blank papers, or void ballots. Contender Essam Khalifa received seven votes, while Ziyad Baroud got two, and Salah Edward Hanin won only one.

Since last September, 10 previous parliamentary sessions were held with no progress to elect a new  president. The 10th session was held last month.

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