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Lebanon parliament rules caretaker gov't can perform president's duties

Deputies attend the session in the parliament as the assembly recommend Mikati's government to stay on the post in Bierut, Lebanon on November 03, 2022. [Houssam Shbaro - Anadolu Agency]
Deputies attend the session in the parliament as the assembly recommend Mikati's government to stay on the post in Bierut, Lebanon on November 03, 2022. [Houssam Shbaro - Anadolu Agency]

The Lebanese Parliament yesterday ruled that the caretaker government led by Najib Mikati can assume the powers of the president in accordance with the constitution.

Since October, the Lebanese parliament has held four rounds of voting with no candidate garnering enough support to succeed Michel Aoun as president. Aoun's term ended on Monday.

In a letter to parliament on Sunday, only hours before leaving office, Aoun asked MPs to withdraw confidence in Mikati's government, under the pretext that it has no legitimacy and should not assume the duties of the presidency.

However, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri announced yesterday that Mikati's caretaker cabinet can assume the duties of the presidency, adding that the parliament had set next Thursday as the date to elect a president for the country.

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Aoun, himself, was elected after the seat of president was vacant for 29 months between 2014-2016. He became the country's 13th president.

Aoun held the seat for a six-year term from 31 October 2016 to 30 October 2022. He has presided over the country during an economic crisis which  the World Bank has said is one of the world's worst in centuries and the Beirut Port blast which left the city devastated and limited Lebanon's ability to import.

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