Lebanon fails to elect new president

Beirut, July 14 (IANS) The Lebanese parliament failed for the 42nd time to elect a new president due to lack of the constitutionally required quorum.

Speaker Nabih Berri on Wednesday called for a new session on August 8, Xinhua news agency reported.

Lebanon has been without a president since the term of former President Michel Suleiman ended on May 25, 2014, and the sharp political division among the Lebanese parties hindered the elections of an incumbent.

“The political decision blocking the election of a president is still ongoing and history will pin the blame on those who are obstructing this vote,” independent MP Butros Harb told the media after the session.

Only 37 MPs arrived at the parliament building to take part in the session, while two thirds of the 128-seat parliament represents the required quorum.

According to the National Pact, the president should be a Christian Maronite while the speaker is a Muslim Shia and the premier is a Muslim Sunni.

The constitution stipulates that in case of the absence of a president, the Cabinet takes charge of running the country until the election of a president.

However, the Hezbollah and some of their allies have been boycotting the electoral sessions, demanding a prior agreement on the president.

–IANS

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