Parliament in Lebanon failed once again on Thursday to elect a new president as the Lebanese Lira (pound) traded at new record low of 50,000 to US Dollar.
Lebanese lawmakers met for eleventh time on Thursday in a failed attempt to elect a new president.
In the first round, 37 MPs cast blank ballot, Michel Moawad received 34 votes.
Another 14 votes were for “New Lebanon”, while 29 were declared invalid. There were a handful of valid votes for other names including Issam Khalife (7 votes), Ziad Baroud (2 ballots) and Edward Honein (1 vote).
A two-thirds majority is required in the first round to win the race to be president in the 128-seat parliament. Subsequent rounds in the same session need only an absolute majority — or 65 votes. On Thursday, 111 MPs were present.
Parliament has held eleven rounds of voting since October, with no candidate garnering enough support to succeed former president Michel Aoun whose term ended on October 31.
The power vacuum has been increasing fears of further political paralysis as Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government is in caretaker status and thus severely stripped of power.
LBP Trades at Record Low
Meanwhile, the Lebanese pound hit a new record low of 50,000 liras per US dollar, marking a loss in value of more than 95 percent since the country’s financial system imploded in 2019.
Currency exchange dealers reported the new record, noting that the dollar was trading at 50,000 Lebanese liras to buy and 49,800 Lebanese liras to sell.
The Lebanese lira was pegged to the dollar at a rate of 1,507 in 1993, a peg that held until 2019, when decades of profligate spending, mismanagement and corruption triggered a financial crisis.
The largest bill in circulation, the 100,000 liras note formerly worth $67, is now worth just $2.
Source: Al-Manar English Website