For 39th time, Lebanon fails to elect new president

For 39th time, Lebanon fails to elect new president

According to Lebanon's constitution, at least one third of parliament must be present to vote on new head of state

By Hamza Tekin

BEIRUT (AA) – Lebanon’s parliament on Tuesday failed for the 39th time to elect a new president for the country amid a boycott by Hezbollah lawmakers and other political blocs.

Forty-one MPs attended Tuesday’s assembly session, falling short of the 86 necessary to meet a quorum for holding the vote.

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri postponed the vote to June 2, when MPs will try once again to elect a new head of state.

Former President Michel Suleiman’s term ended on May 25, 2014. Since then, Lebanon’s 128-seat parliament has been unable to muster enough MPs to elect a new president.

Lebanon’s political forces remain split between supporters of the March 14 Alliance, which backs the armed opposition in next-door Syria, and the March 8 Alliance, which includes Hezbollah and supports the Assad regime.

A third, centrist bloc, meanwhile, is led by Druze politician Walid Jumblatt and former Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

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