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Political crisis continues in Lebanon as Parliament fails 8th time to elect president

A view of the ballot box for the presidential election which is placed on a table at the parliament in Lebanon, Beirut, on September 28, 2022 [Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]
A view of the ballot box for the presidential election which is placed on a table at the parliament in Lebanon, Beirut, on September 28, 2022 [Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]

Lebanese lawmakers, on Thursday, failed for the eighth time to elect a new president as the country's political deadlock continues to prevent a consensus on a new president, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The voting session was attended by 111 lawmakers of the 128-member parliament.

Michel Moawad, a candidate backed by the Lebanese Forces party, got 37 votes, well short of the figure needed to win the first round, while 52 lawmakers cast blank ballots.

READ: UNSC calls for swift formation of government in Lebanon

Speaker, Nabih Berri, set the next voting session for 8 December.  The previous sessions were held on a weekly basis where all failed to agree on a new president.

A candidate needs two-thirds of the vote (86 lawmakers) in the parliament to get through the first stage, while an absolute majority is needed in subsequent rounds.

Lebanon fails again to elect new president amid political deadlock - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Lebanon fails again to elect new president amid political deadlock – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Former President, Michel Aoun, left office on 31 October, after completing a six-year term, without lawmakers agreeing on a successor.

Since 2019, Lebanon has been facing a crippling economic crisis that, according to the World Bank, is one of the worst the world has seen in modern times.

The country has been without a fully functioning government since May, with Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, and his Cabinet having limited powers in their current caretaker status.

READ: Why would Arabs want democracy if it means unemployment, poverty, insecurity and corruption?

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