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Lebanon’s parliament fails to elect president for 41st time

June 24, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Lebanese members of parliament count the votes after casting their ballots to elect the new Lebanese president in the parliament building in downtown Beirut on April 23, 2014. [JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images]

Lebanon’s parliament failed again on Thursday to elect a new president for the country because a quorum could not be reached in the session.

Nabih Berri, the parliament’s speaker, set 13 July for holding a new session to elect a president, after 41 failed attempts.

With the absence of parliamentarians representing the March 8 Alliance (namely Hezbollah, the Free Patriotic Movement and the Marada Movement), a quorum was not reached during Thursday’s session.

For a quorum to be reached, at least 86 members of parliament out of 128 must be present. Thursday’s session was attended by 33 members of parliament only.

If a candidate succeeds in winning two thirds of votes, another vote will be held where at least 65 votes will be required for the candidate to win, becoming president of Lebanon.

The Lebanese parliament has been trying to elect a new president since Michel Suleiman’s term ended on 25 May 2014. But all attempts have failed amid intense differences between the country’s political factions.