By Wassim Seif El Din
BEIRUT (AA) - Lebanese lawmakers failed Thursday for the ninth time to elect a new president after the post was vacated Oct. 31.
The vote was attended by 105 lawmakers in the 128-member parliament.
Candidate Michel Moawad, backed by the Lebanese Forces party, received 39 votes, well short of the figure needed to win the first round. A candidate needs two-thirds of the vote, or 86 lawmakers, to make it through the first stage. An absolute majority is needed in subsequent rounds.
A total of 39 lawmakers cast blank ballots. The other votes went to other candidates.
Speaker Nabih Berri set the next round of voting for Dec. 15. The previous sessions were held weekly.
Former President Michel Aoun completed a six-year term without lawmakers agreeing on a successor.
Since 2019, Lebanon has been facing a crippling economic crisis that, according to the World Bank, is one of the worst the world has seen in modern times.
The country has been without a fully functioning government since May, with Prime Minister Najib Mikati and his Cabinet having limited powers in their current caretaker status.
*Writing by Ahmed Asmar