Lebanese MPs fail to elect president for 6th time
Beirut: Lebanese lawmakers have failed to elect the country’s president for the sixth time, as none of the candidates secured enough votes, media reported on Thursday.
According to the Lebanese constitution, a presidential candidate must receive at least two-thirds of the vote in the 128-seat parliament, and, if there is a runoff, 50% plus one vote in the second round.
Forty-three members of parliament voted for independent lawmaker Michel Mouawad, 46 cast their ballots blank, 11 ballots were annulled, and the rest voted for other candidates, Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) reported
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has scheduled the next voting for November 24, the report said.
On October 31, the six-year presidential term of former Lebanese leader Michel Aoun ended. Since then, presidential functions in Lebanon have been partially performed by a transitional cabinet.
Attempts have continued at the Lebanese parliament to elect a new president since late September, as none of the candidates succeeded in securing the required minimum of votes. A similar deadlock occurred in Lebanon from May 2014 to October 2016, when it took lawmakers 45 sessions to elect Aoun as president.
Lebanon has been plunged into a deep financial and economic crisis, accompanied by political and social tensions, since 2019. Amid the crisis, the banking system was almost completely paralyzed, the national currency depreciated more than 20 times against the dollar. As a result, more than 70% of the population is living below the poverty line. (UNI/SPUTNIK)