Lebanon parliament fails again to elect new president
The Lebanese parliament failed Tuesday for the tenth consecutive time to elect a new president to replace incumbent president Michel Suleiman because of lack of the required quorum.
Speaker Nabih Berri called for a new session to be held on September 2, after no one won two thirds of the parliament as required by the constitution.
The western-backed March 14 alliance is backing head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea as candidate for the post, while the Syrian-Iranian backed March 8 camp has not declared the candidacy of any of its components as MP Michel Aoun, one of its prominent leaders, insist on running to the post as a consensual candidate.
Centrist Democratic Gathering leader MP Walid Jumblatt announced the candidacy of the Gathering member MP Henri Helou.
Because of the sharp division among the political forces in the parliament, the presidential elections have failed so far on none occasions to conclude as the constitution requires the presence of two thirds of the 128-member parliament which is far from being achieved.
Since May 25, the government of Prime Minister Tammam Salam is running the country according to a constitutional article that stipulates that in the absence of a president, the cabinet will take charge of the post until the election of a new president.
Lebanon has witnessed a vacuum in the presidency post in the past following the end of the term of former President Emile Lahoud in 2007 and following the end of the term of former President Amine Gemayel in 1988.