Lebanese Parliament convened on Thursday with lawmakers failing to elect a new head of state to succeed President Michel Aoun.
Quorum was ensured as 122 lawmakers, out of 128 MPs, attended the session which was headed by Speaker Nabih Berri.
The bulk of votes cast by lawmakers, 63, were blank in the first round of the session. Politician Michel Moawad won the backing of 36 of the lawmakers, Salim Eddeh had 11 votes while the rest 12 MPs voted for others.
A new round was not held due to lack of quorum. Speaker Berri then adjourned the presidential election session, saying he would call another session when consensus emerged on a candidate.
“If there is no consensus, and if we do not receive 128 votes, we will neither be able to save the House of Parliament nor Lebanon,” Speaker Berri said, as quoted by National News Agency NNA.
“When I sense consensus, I will call for a session immediately; if not, we’ll decide on matters in due time,” the Lebanese speaker said in response to a question asked by one of the MPs about the date of the next presidential election session.
The votes of two-thirds of lawmakers in the 128-member legislature are required for a candidate to be successful in the first round of voting, after which a simple majority suffices.
President Michel Aoun’s six-year term ends on October 31, and politicians in Lebanon have voiced concern about no successor being found. Anticipating a presidential vacuum, politicians have stepped up efforts to agree a new cabinet led by Prime Minister-Designate Najib Mikati – who is currently serving in a caretaker capacity – to which presidential powers could pass until a president can be agreed.
Source: Al-Manar English Website