Lebanon’s Parliament Fails To Elect New President in 1st Round
The Lebanese parliament on Thursday voted for a new president but no candidate reached the constitutionally mandated two-thirds majority required to win in the first round. With 128 seats in parliament, 86 votes were needed to win. In subsequent rounds, only a simple majority is required to win.
Top contenders MP Michel Moawad, backed by the Lebanese Forces, and businessman Salim Edde, who enjoys support from the independent Change MPs, received 36 and 11 votes, respectively. Seventy-five spoiled or blank ballots were cast, and six lawmakers did not vote at all.
The parliamentary session was closed with no announcement on when the next vote for president would be held. House Speaker Nabih Berri said he’d wait for a consensus to emerge before calling for a new vote.
The term of the current president, the 88-year-old Michel Aoun, ends on October 31. If no president has been elected when Aoun leaves office, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati will assume the president’s duties.