LEBANON PARLIAMENT FAILED TO ELECT PRESIDENT FOR THE 43RD TIME
Last Updated: 2016-08-09
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BEIRUT, Aug 9 (NNN-AGENCIES) -- The Lebanese parliament failed again on Monday and for the 43rd time in a row to elect a president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended on May 25, 2014.

As in the past sessions the parliament was unable to reach a quorum because the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group and its ally MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc MPs boycotted the session, because they could not reportedly guarantee Aoun’s election as a president.

Amal Movement leader, Speaker Nabih Berri a key ally of Hezbollah postponed the election to Sept 7, 2016.

“According to the Lebanese constitution the deputies are obliged to attend the election sessions at the parliament. Deputies have no right to absent themselves,” head of Future parliamentary bloc MP Fouad Siniora stressed from the parliament.

Rival leaders met for three sessions on Aug 2-4, in an attempt to reach a deal over the election of a president but they failed.

Prime Minister Tammam Salam urged the Christian leaders on Monday to name a new candidate as head of state, in order to “spare the country of danger,” An Nahar daily reported.

Salam pointed out to the 1976 presidential elections when none of the three candidates that were running for the presidential race (Camille Chamoun, Raymond Edde and Pierre Gemayel), garnered the consensus of political parties.

They then decided to support a fourth candidate, Elias Sarkis, “which was a relief for the country,” said Salam.

Parliament speaker Nabih Berri announced on Monday the country has failed to elect a new president again following a lack of quorum at parliament.

Only 31 parliamentary members showed up at Monday's session, far below the two thirds of the 128-seat parliament required.

According to the power sharing act, the Lebanese president must be a Christian Maronite, the Speaker a Muslim Shiite and the prime minister a Muslim Sunni.

In the absence of a president, the cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Tammam Salam, is running the country. -- NNN-AGENCIES