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Lebanon parliament agrees 27 March as election date

People gather to march towards the parliament building to protest against the government in Beirut, Lebanon on 11 August 2020 [Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]
People gather to march towards the parliament building to protest against the government in Beirut, Lebanon on 11 August 2020 [Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]

The Lebanese parliament today voted to hold legislative elections on 27 March, confirming an earlier vote last week that had been challenged by President Michel Aoun, according to Reuters.

The body originally voted on 19 October to hold the election at that time but Aoun sent the law back for reconsideration on Friday.

The vote passed today by 77 members of parliament but some, including members of Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), who have been against the earlier date, expressed concern around whether quorum was achieved for a second vote regarding the voting of Lebanese living abroad.

The elections were originally expected in May.

Gebran Bassil, FPM leader and Aoun's son-in-law, withdrew alongside his alliance from the session on the back of the dispute, ending the session for the day.

"We withdrew from the session because of a major constitutional violation," he said after leaving.

The 27 March election date would give Prime Minister Najib Mikati's government only a few months to try to secure an IMF recovery plan amid a deepening economic meltdown.

READ: Lebanon MP accused of keeping stolen Palmyra artefacts in office

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